Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Notes to self (mostly on pivot tables and things)

Incredibly, I find myself having to know how to do Pivot Tables for this project. I first encountered Pivot Tables about ten years ago when I started my first job out of college at Catholic Community Services. I thought I'd never need them again. Oh how wrong I was.

Anyway, just some notes:

I've now coded 4/7 of the data (initially at least) and am starting to see what works and what doesn't. The Pivot Tables allow me to nicely nest things like this:

Group number

Having Group Number, Chunk, and Comment together are nice. I can basically look at any given Chunk and its comments very quickly and easily. It also eliminates the need for an additional field called "description" which I was using to go along with group number. (Eg, group 1 is X chunk)

Type and Subtype are trickier. I've been playing around with how to do types, and I have about 200 differnt things entered, but in reality probably more than half are duplicates. The problem is what to do with huge categories like "word choice." That is by far the biggest 'type' category, and it's so big as to be meaningless, I think. I tried to solve that by creating subtypes, but I'm not sure how well that's working. The thing is, I do want to have some pretty big overarching concerns -- or I did, at least. I thought lexis would be a category (word choice), and grammar/syntax/word order etc would be another, but it's all pretty ambiguous. There's a different between a "weird word" and the "wrong word" and the wrong form of a verb, so I don't think that's all really 'word choice.' Maybe it is.

It would help to have a rubric to use, and I kind of have one in Lunsford & Lunsford, but I'll have to modify it since they are explicitly going after things they deem errors. I do need to keep plowing through, but it might be nice to stop and tidy up a bit before I accidentally create 200 more "types." So I'll consult that Lunsfords article in the morning.

Anyway, I'm tired and not finished yet but I have something to work on tomorrow. This is far from statistical analysis, but the pivot table stuff is starting to look pretty cool.

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