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R Projects For Dummies by Joseph Schmuller

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Introduction

If you’re like me, you think the best way to learn is by doing. Don’t just read about something — practice it! If you want to be a builder, then build. If you want to be a writer, then write. If you want to be a carpenter, then carpenter. (Yes, that noun and verb are the same. Carpent is not a word.)

I based this book on that learning-by-doing philosophy. My objective is for you to expand your R skill set by using R to complete projects in a variety of areas, and to learn something about those areas, too.

Even with those noble intentions, a book like this one can fall into a trap. It can quickly become a cookbook: Use this package, use these functions, create a graphic — and presto, you’ve finished a project and it’s time to move on.

I didn’t want to write that book. Instead, beginning in Part 2 (which is where the projects start), each chapter does more than just walk you through a project. First, I show you some background material about the subject area, and then (in most chapters) you work through a scaled-down project in that area to get your feet wet, and then you complete a larger project.

But a chapter doesn’t end there. At the end of each chapter, you’ll find a Suggested Project that challenges you to apply your newly minted skills. For each of those, I supply just enough information to get you started. (Wherever necessary, I include tips about potential pitfalls.)

Along the way, you’ll also encounter Quick Suggested Projects. These are based on tweaks to ...

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