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 projects you’ve already completed, and they present additional challenges to your growing skill set.
One more thing: Every subject area could be the basis for an entire book, so I can only scratch the surface of each one. Chapter 17 directs you toward resources that provide more information.