Wrapping Up

By the end of the summer, I grew more comfortable running my data through R and setting up graphs using R. I have a working draft of a literature review and a number of article summaries to draw on in the upcoming year.  I have not yet begun any statistical analysis of my data, but I do have a number of histograms of word distributions at the national and state level.  This is helpful for seeing exactly how many times a word or phrases was mentioned at least once in an article.  I am excited to continue to create new charts and graphs to help others better visualize my data.

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Research in England: A Different Perspective

While for the first half of the summer I was working on my research project for the SNaPP Lab, the second half of the summer I was in Cambridge, England with the W&M program.  It was an interesting transition to go from spending most of my time reading scholarly articles and working on graphs in R to living, traveling and studying with 47 other William & Mary students!  Our program took place at Christ’s College, a college within Cambridge University founded by Lady Margaret Beaufort in 1209.  I didn’t think I could find a place more in tune with local history than W&M, but I think Christ’s College may have us beat in that department!

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Writing a Literature Review

Part of my research work for the summer has consisted of writing a literature review.  This entails reading over articles pertaining to my research question, writing summaries, and integrating the information they contain in order to situate my own research question within a broader academic context.  The impact of media coverage on various facets of public policy and politics has been studied extensively, but many questions about the full effect of media coverage remain.

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Data Clean Up

When I took government research methods in the Fall 2013 semester, Professor Chris Howard warned us that while research was rewarding, it could also be very tedious.  Part of the “tedious” element of my project has been data cleaning. Each state had three separate excel sheets detailing the meta data for the project. This included the number of articles published in August 2009, the number of articles with healthcare related key terms, and the names of the newspapers that published these articles.  However, the computer program I am using for my project, R, is very finicky and does not work correctly if there are too many spaces or extra commas in documents read into the program.

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Local Media Coverage and State Level Ideology

Hello! My name is Joanna Borman and I am working on an independent project this summer that deals with media coverage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). My project is an extension of work I have been doing through the Social Network and Political Psychology Lab (SNaPP) Lab on campus.  The lab is run by Government professor Jaime Settle and primarily covers the intersection of political science and psychology, or political behavior.  However, over the past year my team (dubbed the “Obamacare Group”) has been collecting information on the ACA in order to better understand one of the most seminal events in American politics over the past decade.

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