# Compare the length of words in tabloid and broadsheet newspapers.

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Introduction

Statistics Coursework Newspaper Comparisons Introduction For this statistical coursework I will compare the length of words in tabloid and broadsheet newspapers. My sources are 'The Sun' (a tabloid) and 'The Times' (a broadsheet). Predictions / Hypotheses * Broadsheets, on average, use long words, while tabloid newspapers generally contain shorter words than broadsheets. * Tabloids have a wider variation in the number of letters per word than broadsheets * The most common (modal) number of letters per word for a broadsheet is between 5 and 8, while the most common number of letters per word in a tabloid is between 4 and 7. Testing Method My results should be fair and accurate. I intend to use a systematic sampling system to ensure this. I will record the number of letters per word from 50 words from each paper. I have chosen this number because it is a sensible round number of a size that should supply me with reliable, accurate results. I will use every third word (I chose this number by rolling a dice). ...read more.

Middle

0.0196 0.1176 6 5 30 1.14 1.2996 6.498 7 5 35 2.14 4.5796 22.898 8 1 8 3.14 9.8596 9.8596 9 5 45 4.14 17.1396 85.698 10 1 10 5.14 26.4196 26.4196 11 0 0 6.14 37.6996 0 12 0 0 7.14 50.9796 0 Total 50 243 250.02 S.D= 2.236 The standard deviation of the number of letters per word in The Times is 2.81 Letters (x) Frequency (f) fx (x-x) (x-x)? f(x-x)? 1 1 1 -4 16 16 2 11 22 -3 9 99 3 10 30 -2 4 40 4 4 16 -1 1 4 5 3 15 0 0 0 6 3 18 1 1 3 7 10 70 2 4 40 8 2 16 3 9 18 9 1 9 4 16 16 10 3 30 5 25 75 11 1 11 6 36 36 12 1 12 7 49 49 Total 50 250 396 S.D= 2.814 The formula for finding the standard deviation is: r = ?x-x)? n Where n is the number of words sampled and x is the mean. ...read more.

Conclusion

It eliminates extreme values and bases its measure of dispersion on the middle half of the data. Conclusion To conclude, most of my hypotheses were correct - broadsheets do, on average, use long words. Tabloid newspapers do, generally contain shorter words than broadsheets. However, the range between these two means was smaller than I had expected at just 0.14 letters per word. Tabloids do have a wider variation in the number of letters per word than broadsheets. I found this through the standard deviation. My third hypothesis, however, was incorrect - surprisingly the modal number of letters per word for The Times was 2, rather than the predicted 5-8. The modal number of letters per word for The Sun was 4, instead of 4-7. Evaluation My results were, I think, reasonably fair and accurate. However, I only recorded my results from the papers on one day and I only used one broadsheet and one tabloid. For my results to be truly accurate I would have needed to record my results over a much longer period of time, and from several different tabloids and several different broadsheets. ...read more.

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