2 minute read

This short tutorial helps you quickly start coding in the R language. It introduces you the environment, packages, reporting and naming and syntax styles.

The R Environment

  • If you bring a laptop to class, you can simply make installations in your laptop.

  • Otherwise, you may use lab computers but everytime you log in to a different computer, you have to reinstall all the required external packages. To avoid this issue, you can install external packages in a thumb drive and add it to the library path in R.

.libPaths() #print current path
## [1] "C:/Program Files/R/R-3.5.3/library"
new <- paste(.libPaths(), "pathToYourlibraryDir", sep=",")
  • The IUanyware site will be the last option and you will for sure notice a long time lag.

The R language

Ch.1 Install R


Ch.1 Install RStudio

R Packages



  1. tibble
  2. readr(Ch.6)
  3. dplyr(Ch.12)
  4. ggplot2(Ch.7)
  5. tidyr
  6. purrr(Ch.13)


RStudio Projects (p19)

Project with Version Control (p19)

Reporting Tool: R Markdown


Terminal Commands

  • pwd
  • cd path/to/destination
  • ls -all
  • mkdir newdirectory
  • rm -rf directory
  • cp -rf source destination
  • vim

Run R script from CLI or Terminal pane in RStudio

  • Run R script

    Rscript script.R
  • Run R script and write output to a file

    Rscript script.R > output.txt
  • Render Rmd to HTML

    R -e "rmarkdown::render('script.Rmd',output_format='html_document',output_file='output.html')"

Style Guide

File name

An R script ends with .r or .R. An rmarkdown file ends with .rmd or .Rmd. Use a dash (-) to separate words. NO SPACE character within a name!

Object names

R treats everything as an object no matter it is a variable or a function. Object names should be lowercase. Use an underscore (_) or a dot (.) to separate words within a name. Generally, variable names should be nouns and function names should be verbs. Make names which are concise and meaningful.


Curly braces

An opening curly brace better never go on its own line and should always be followed by a new line. A closing curly brace should always go on its own line, unless it’s followed by else.

x <- 9 
tag <- TRUE
if (x > 0 && tag == TRUE) {
  print("X is positive.")
} else {
  print("X is unknown.")
sum <- 0
for (i in seq(1:10)) {
  sum <- sum + i

Comment lines

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# Load data
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