Lesson 5: Finding Help

Overview Section

One of my vivid memories of learning to use R was the frustration of trying to find help when things went wrong: confusing error messages, long help files, and trying to find help online. In this chapter we'll introduce R help files and discuss strategies for finding help online.

One thing to remember - R is not like much software that is designed to do specific tasks - R is a language, an environment for analysis, etc. As a result it is often the case that there is more than one way to do almost anything in R. This means that when we ask "how do I do X in R" we have to figure out how which of several methods makes the most sense. We'll work with Chapter 5 of Essential R.


Upon completion of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Access the help files in R
  • Use the example code from help files
  • Use RSeek to search for help on topics

Data and R Code Files Section

There is no code file for this chapter. See the exercises at the end of Chapter 5 for more practice.