Data analysis using R in the digital humanities

This is a modified version of the University of Manchester Course R for data analysis, tailored for the digital humanities.

The UoM R course is, itself an abridged and modified version of the Software Carpentry lesson R for reproducible scientific analysis.

The slide deck used in this course can be found here.

The goal of this lesson is to teach novice programmers to use R for data analysis. R is commonly used in many disciplines for statistical analysis and its array of third-party packages greatly extend its usefulness. The emphasis of these materials is to give attendees a strong foundation in the fundamentals of R, and to teach good practices for research computing.

Note that this workshop will focus on teaching the fundamentals of the programming language R for data analysis. The statistical content is minimal, though learners should know how to find the appropriate functions and packages for a statistical analysis by the end of the course.

The course focuses on using the tidyverse for data analysis, rather than base R.


Understand that computers store data and instructions (programs, scripts etc.) in files. Files are organised in directories (folders). Know how to access files not in the working directory by specifying the path.

Download the example data we will use for the lesson from here.


Setup Download the software required for the workshop (only needed if you are using your own computer)
00:00 1. Introduction to R and RStudio How to find your way around RStudio?
How to interact with R?
01:15 2. R Packages and Seeking Help How do I use packages in R?
How can I get help in R?
01:30 3. Loading data into R How can I read and write tabular data in R?
What are the basic data types in R?
02:00 4. Manipulating tibbles with dplyr How can I manipulate tibbles without repeating myself?
02:55 5. Creating Publication-Quality Graphics How can I create and save publication-quality graphics in R?
04:15 6. Combining your code with text How can I organise my work using Rmarkdown documents?
04:45 7. Writing Good Software How can I write software that other people can use?
What are the next steps in learning and using R?
How do I get my data in an appropriate format?
04:55 Finish

The actual schedule may vary slightly depending on the topics and exercises chosen by the instructor.