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Social Sci LibreTexts

1. Getting Started

  • Page ID
    33753
  • Don't be afraid! You don't have to be a master computer-programmer to work with R; it is very flexible and uses syntax that is simple and intuitive. 

    Where to Get R? 

    To download R, go to www.cran.r-project.org. Click on the link to download for your specific computer.

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    How do I use R?

    To use R, you will want to use RStudio, an integrated development environment. To download, go to www.rstudio.com/products/rstudio/ and choose "RStudio Desktop". 

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    Working RStudio

    There are 4 main components to RStudio: 

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    Source

    The built-in text editor for writing scripts. Always write code in the source panel so that you can save it.

    Console

    Where commands are entered and output is printed.

    Environment & History

    An interactive list of all loaded objects and a list of keystrokes entered into the console.

    Files, Plots, Packages, Help:

    Where you can navigate C drive files, find output for plots, search for and install packages, and output for help commands. 

    Tip:

    Using a darker background and a larger font in RStudio will help reduce eye strain. See the image below for instructions. 

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    Starting a Project

    To start a project, first, you must create a script.

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    Code in R

    After creating a new R script, you will have to write in code to perform the actions you wish to complete your statistical analyses. 

    • To run code in R, type into each line the command/argument you want to run and use command (⌘) + enter. (For PC, use control + enter).
      • Functions are always followed by parentheses. A common mistake is forgetting a close parenthesis!
    • To run multiple lines of code, highlight the section then use command (⌘) + enter.

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