Applied Research Methods & Statistics, JS 266 Page 1 of 3
A content analysis is a theory-generating methodology. You are to select a song that is of interest
to you and conduct an analysis of it. The objective of this assignment is for you to be creative
and generate a mini-theory based on your content analysis of a music video or song. There are
no accurate or inaccurate interpretations of the data. You may select any discipline of literature
(e.g., criminological, psychological, sociological, etc.) to interpret your data. Students must
incorporate at least four scholarly (e.g., peer-reviewed) sources in this assignment. This
assignment will specifically address CLO’s 2 and 3.
Guidelines for Completing Assignment
1. Select your song and listen to it at least 3 times.
2. Obtain a transcript of your song from online or by transcribing the song yourself. If you
obtain the song from online, ensure that it is transcribed accurately. This should be done
in Word because you will need to incorporate it in your final assignment.
3. Listen to your song 5 more times before coding. Pay attention to the lyrics and message.
4. List codes or topics that emerge from the song and assign each a number. This should be
done in Word because you will need to incorporate it in your final assignment.
5. Code the song.
a. Read the song carefully.
b. Every time the artist mentions anything related to your code, label the
sentence/phrase with the number that is assigned for that code.
c. Read the lyrics for the song/listen to the song several times to ensure that you are
coding everything that is relevant to you.
6. Create a thematic analysis.
a. Select at least 3 codes/themes you would like to develop.
b. Pull out all relevant quotes and group them together based on the codes/themes.
c. Analyze the codes.
i. Read all the quotes related to the code.
ii. What is the artist trying to convey about this topic.
iii. Write a statement that describes what the artist is saying about this
d. Compare the statements you come up with to the lyrics in the song
i. Listen/read the song again
ii. Do your statements really convey what the artist is saying about that
1. Are you really capturing the author’s intended meaning?
iii. If not, reformulate your statements and then compare them to the song.
iv. Repeat this step until you feel you are accurately portraying the meaning
of the code.
v. Do this for every code you are using.
7. Conduct research on your theme.
8. Select four journal articles that speak about the codes/themes.
9. Explain what the four journal articles you collected said about your codes/themes.
10. Theorize about the occurrence of your theme
a. Based on the four journal articles you selected, and the information in the song,
why is the theme you are studying occurring?
Your content analysis needs to be structured as follows:
Section 1: The Paper (65%)
A. Methods (15%)
Explain the process of your analysis. What was the entire process like? How did you find the
song you selected? How many web pages did you visit before you found the song on the
Internet? How many times did you read the lyrics? Did you listen to the song? If you listened to
the song, what words did the artist emphasize? Did you watch the video? How many times did
you listen to the song/watch the video? How can you be certain that you completely understood
the content of the song (or exhausted all avenues of interpretation)?
B. Describe the song (10%)
What was the title of the song? What was the song about? What were the codes/themes you
developed from the song? Was sentence structure (e.g., alliteration) central to the author
conveying a specific point? Did certain combinations of words have meanings other than what
appears at face value (e.g., euphemisms)? Your goal is to interpret key words that are central to
the message the author was attempting to convey.
C. Article Application (15%)
Select at least four peer-reviewed journal articles that are focused on your codes/themes. The
articles and codes/themes should be on the same topic. What do these articles say about the
code/theme you selected? How do they explain the codes/themes? Simply presenting the
information from the scholarly sources does not meet the requirements of the assignment. You
must explain how the lyrics complement the four articles.
D. Theory Development (25%)
A focal point of this assignment is to formulate a mini-theory/explanation for what the artist is
conveying through their music. Combine the codes/themes and the journal articles to theorize
about a portion of the song. How could this song be used to explain/understand similar people or
situations? What do we learn from this song? How does this song enhance our understanding of
the world? You should have a well-developed explanation (theory) that is linked to he lyrics and
articles. Your theory should be written in bold font.
Section 2: List of Codes (2.5%)
In this section, students should list all the codes they pulled out of the song during data analysis.
The final codes that are included in the paper should be listed in bold. At least 10 codes should
be presented in this section.
Section 3: Coded Lyrics (2.5%)
In this section, students should present a copy of the lyrics for the selected song and the
corresponding codes for each line of the song. The codes should be listed as numbers, which
corresponds to the list of codes presented in section 2. The entire song should be coded and all
codes listed in section 2 should be represented in this section.
Section 4: Thematic Memos (10%)
In this section, students should expand upon 3 to 4 codes (or themes) presented in section 2 and
explain the meaning of these codes. With each code students should answer the following
questions: what message is the artist conveying through this code/theme? What story is being
expressed with this code/theme?
Section 5: References (5%)
In this section, students should cite the song being analyzed and all the peer-reviewed journal
articles that were incorporated into this paper. Your paper must include a minimum of four peerreviewed sources. If you are unsure how to do that, review the APA reference guide provided by
me on Canvas, and/or consult me.
APA Formatting (5%): You are to include a title page, with an appropriately descriptive title,
running head, and your identification information (name, school, and course). You do not need
an abstract. You are expected to use APA referencing style in your paper, which includes proper
in-text citations, page references for direct quotes, and reference list at the conclusion of your
Grammar/Spelling/Structure (15%): While the content of an assignment is important, it is
irrelevant if it is not able to be understood by the audience. Care should be taken to properly
articulate your content with appropriate grammar and spelling. Ensure that your IRB application
has been proofread prior to submission and is free of errors. This can easily make a difference of
5% or more to your final grade. If you have difficulties with your writing, I encourage you to
make an appointment with the Writing Center (http://www.sjsu.edu/writingcenter/) and have
them assist you with your submission.
Section Marking Rubric Points
Spelling, grammar, punctuation – 10 points
-Substantial spelling and/or grammatical issues (1 – 3 points)
-Many spelling and/or grammatical errors (4 – 6 points)
-Few (minor) spelling and/or grammatical errors (7 – 9 points)
-No spelling and/or grammatical errors (10 points)
Overall presentation (structure) – 5 points
-Document sloppy or lacks proper use of elements (0 – 1 points)
-Document decent but could be improved (2 – 4 points)
-Document clean, attractive, well laid out and easy to read (5 points)