Team 1 Progress Report 3/31

Our task is to compare the Texas ads to those from Arkansas and Mississippi .  We will be utilizing a range of tools for this, many of which we have touched on in class.  We are looking at our work as a series of progressive tasks mining the ad content for deeper trends and information.

Our first task is to complete a close reading of the ads in question.  This will familiarize us with the material and provide grounds for categorizing key concepts, words, and phrases that we should search for.  By Wednesday, April 2nd, Alyssa will have done a close reading of the Austin Gazette ads and Daniel will have read the Texas Register ads from the overlapping years.  This will give a starting point of keywords and concepts we’re looking at to start the write up.

By April 7th, Daniel will have begun the text analysis of Texas and Arkansas ads with digital tools and the findings of the close readings.  He will share these with Alyssa, who will work on the close reading write-up due that day.

Our second task will then consist of utilizing these keywords and concepts to search the text with Voyant and TF-IDF.  We can look for trends and differences across states in the various results and visualizations we get from these.  We can also verify some of the categories by running the text through topic modeling, and searching those results for trends in Voyant as well.  Our future progress reports will include a commentary on how well these tools have worked for various purposes, for the benefit of future studies using these tools.

From this point, we plan to be flexible based on the findings of the text analysis.  Specific results might encourage further mining of the text for trends, or else might require us to go back to some of our earlier readings  for comparison or contrast of findings.  We can also at this point see if filtering the jailors’ ads from the text will change the language trends of the ads significantly, or if in fact the language of the different types of ads are highly similar.

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