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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 2113

Broadsheets use longer words than tabloids.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Katie Sanderson 11L1

Maths Statistics Course Work

Introduction

        There are many different newspapers; they range from tabloid papers to the broadsheet papers.

Hypothesis One

Broadsheets use longer words than tabloids

Prediction

I predict that broadsheets will tend to use longer words than a tabloid paper because the tabloids are a lighter read to the more involving descriptive broadsheet papers. Different newspapers are written to suit these preferences.
In the tabloid papers the wording used is less profound and therefore is more easily understood.

Method

The data will be collected in samples of 100 words per article. One tabloid and one broadsheet paper will be chosen with similar stories to make this a fair test. The first and last 50 words of each article will be counted and recorded. The reason for using a 100-word sample is because this should give a good overall view to the word length in a section. The samples are political samples based on the Iraq War. The samples are taken from the papers the Daily Telegraph (broadsheet) and the Mirror (tabloid) I am going to work out the Mean Median Mode and the range for each paper so that the data is easier to compare.

Results

Daily Telegraph 6th January (Broadsheet)

Number of letters per word

Tally

Total Frequency

Frequency x No of letters per word

1

3

3

2

13

26

3

17

51

4

13

52

5

21

105

6

7

42

7

8

56

8

5

40

9

5

45

10

3

30

11

4

44

12

1

12

Total

100

506

Mirror 6th January (Tabloid)

Number of letters per word

Tally

Total Frequency

Frequency x No of letters per word

1

3

3

2

11

22

3

19

57

4

20

86

5

19

95

6

9

54

7

11

77

8

3

24

9

1

9

10

3

30

11

1

11

Total

100

462

Daily Telegraph

Mean: 506/100 = 5.06

Median: 5

Mode: 5

Range: 11

Mirror

Mean: 462/100 = 4.62

Median: 4

Mode: 4

Range: 11

Looking at my tables and results above these show that the broadsheet paper has a larger range of longer words compared with the tabloid. The broadsheets most common word length is 5 compared that to that of the tabloid which is 4.

I aim going to show my data in a bar chart as it shows it more clearly and makes the data easier to see and read it also shows it in a more interesting way.

Looking at my bar chart (see graph one) I can clearly see that the broadsheet paper has a larger spread of longer words compared to that of the tabloid, which has most of its data down at the lower end of the scale. I decided to show the trends of my data by using a frequency polygon (graph two)

Looking at graph two you can see that the trend of data for each paper is almost identical which shows that there is not much difference between each paper. The graph does show however that the broadsheet does contain more longer words than the tabloid.

I have come to the question are the words used in a political article longer than those used in a sport article so I have decided to extend my original investigation.

Extended Hypothesis

I expect that the word length in a political article to be longer than that of a sport article.

I repeated the process that I had done for my political article and my results were:

Daily Telegraph (broadsheet Birmingham Vs Arsenal

Number of letters per word

Total Frequency

Frequency x No of letters per word

1

0

0

2

6

12

3

22

66

4

22

88

5

13

65

6

10

60

7

14

98

8

2

16

9

6

54

10

2

20

11

1

11

12

1

12

13

1

13

Total

100

515

Daily Mail (Tabloid Birmingham Vs Arsenal)

Number of letters per word

Total Frequency

Frequency x No of letters per word

1

1

1

2

17

34

3

22

66

4

23

27

5

11

55

6

9

54

7

6

42

8

7

56

9

1

9

10

2

20

11

0

0

12

0

0

13

1

13

Total

100

377

...read more.

Middle

To compare all the data I have decided to show it in the form of cumulative frequency charts. The cumulative frequency was worked out for all 4 articles used and here are the results.

Cumulative Frequency for Daily Telegraph article on the Iraq War (Broadsheet Political)

Word Length

Frequency

 Length

Cumulative Frequency

1

0

1

3

2

3

2

13

3

16

3

17

4

33

4

13

5

46

5

21

6

67

6

7

7

74

7

8

8

82

8

5

9

87

9

5

10

92

10

3

11

95

11

4

12

99

12

1

13

100

Cumulative Frequency for Mirror Article on the Iraq War (Tabloid Political)

Word Length

Frequency

 Length

Cumulative Frequency

1

0

1

3

2

3

2

11

3

14

3

19

4

33

4

20

5

53

5

19

6

72

6

9

7

81

7

11

8

92

8

3

9

95

9

1

10

96

10

3

11

99

11

1

12

100

Cumulative Frequency for Daily Telegraph on the match Birmingham Vs Arsenal (Broadsheet Sport)

Word Length

Frequency

 Length

Cumulative Frequency

1

0

1

0

2

0

2

6

3

6

3

22

4

28

4

22

5

50

5

13

6

63

6

10

7

73

7

14

8

87

8

2

9

89

9

6

10

95

10

2

11

97

11

1

12

98

12

1

13

99

13

1

14

100

...read more.

Conclusion

Count the number of polysyllabic words in the chain of 30 sentences and look up the approximate grade level on the chart.

If Article contains less than 30 sentences:

  • Count all of the polysyllabic words in the article
  • Count the number of sentences
  • Find the average number of polysyllabic words per sentence as follows:

image01.png

  • Multiply that average by the number of sentences short of 30
  • Add that figure to total number of polysyllabic words and look up the approximate grade level on the chart.

Smog Conversion Table

Total Polysyllabic word counts

Approximate Grade Level

(+/-1.5 grades)

0-2

4

3-6

5

7-12

6

13-20

7

21-30

8

31-42

9

43-56

10

57-72

11

73-90

12

91-110

Collage level

111-132

Collage level

133-156

Collage level

157-182

Collage level

183-210

Beyond Collage

211-240

Beyond Collage

My Results were as follows

Broadsheet (Political) the Iraq War

Had 31 sentences and 50 polysyllabic words which gives a reading level of 10

Tabloid (Political) the Iraq War

Had 15 sentences and 37 polysyllabic words

image02.png

Broadsheet (Sports) Birmingham Vs Arsenal

Had 30 sentences and 64 polysyllabic words and so gives a reading level of 11

Tabloid (Sports) Birmingham Vs Arsenal

Had 32 sentences and 68 polysyllabic words which gives a reading level of 11

Looking at my results I can see that this proves my hypothesis wrong because the tabloid for the sports had a higher reading level than that for the political but this could have been due to the long words such as Birmingham that are within the sports articles.

...read more.

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