Locating individual words and phrases

Suppose we want to locate individual words and phrases for the purpose of cross-tabulation. For example, we might want to establish whether men are more likely to say they use a product for a particular purpose more than women do. In order to establish this, a survey is conducted. If in the first instance we do not have any ideas of the responses people are going to make, the question will have been phrased as an open-ended one. However, after the survey results are made available, it might be quite apparent from cursory inspection that many of the responses do in fact contain a common idea or phrase. It is necessary therefore to code the answers that have been given so that they can be cross-tabulated with other data that have been gathered, such as gender, age, incomes, etc. of respondents.

Where the researcher simply wants to search for words and phrases, word-processing packages or databases may be all that is needed.

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