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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 1308

Data Handling coursework, newspapers

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Maths Coursework

Do Broadsheet Newspapers appeal to a different type of reader than Tabloids?

Both Broadsheet and Tabloid newspapers approach their audiences in two contrasting styles. Tabloids tend to present their articles in a much more casual manner, an informal use of vocabulary and briefer sections of text, combined with bigger, bolder headlines and a larger amount of the paper devoted to adverts and pictures give Tabloids a more unrefined atmosphere. Therefore they encourage the younger, lower paid and lesser educated individual. On the other hand, Broadsheets tend to induce a more sophisticated tone. A blend of more intellectual vocabulary, large, compact areas of text and a more subtle use of headlines, pictures and advertisement attract an audience that is, on the whole, older, better educated and higher paid.

I believe that the Tabloid newspaper will be easier to read because of the shorter article length, extra use of pictures and simpler vocabulary.

  • I will need to collect the statistics on the two styles in order to complete my task. Using three articles from each newspaper, I will take a sample size of the 1st 100 words and the 1st 45 sentences from each article as this should give a reliable representation of the article and will also be easy to collect. I will count sentence length, calculate and compare word length, finding the averages in the process plus work out the percentage of the article that is devoted to pictures and photos and record this on a spreadsheet. This should provide evidence to decide which of the papers is easier to read.
  • Using computer technology, I will collect totally primary, discrete data and will record my findings using a word processor program along with autograph and a spreadsheet program. I will group my data into sections on my spreadsheet, asses each set individually, representing it in the form of statistical diagrams, charts and graphs. Then I will consider all of the conclusions I have formed, hopefully this will then prove my hypothesis.
  • I have taken articles from The Sun as my tabloid and The times as my Broadsheet as each are well known and popular examples of their respective newspaper styles. I have taken 3 articles on the same subject from each, one from the sports section, one on a fashion article and an article on politics from each paper, to give a good variation to my data and try to give a good overview of each paper.
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Tabloid Sentence Length Statistics

Mean, x:                21.2439                              

Standard Deviation, x:        10.815

Range, x:                44

Lower Quartile:                11

Median:                22

Upper Quartile:                27

Semi I.Q. Range:                       8

Broadsheet Sentence length Statistics

Mean, x:                29.5854

Standard Deviation, x:        12.6722

Range, x:                56

Lower Quartile:                20

Median:                29

Upper Quartile:                34

Semi I.Q. Range:        7

The Box and whisker Diagrams Prove again that tabloids are easier to read than Broadsheets. Not only is the average sentence length over 8 words longer in Broadsheets (29.60) than it is in Tabloids (21.24) but the lower and upper quartile ranges are both higher in the Broadsheet newspaper. An example of how much easier the tabloid newspaper is to read than the broadsheet is shown by the longest sentence length, in the broadsheet newspaper it is 72 words, but in the tabloid it is just 46.






These histograms show that Tabloids use shorter sentences more often than Broadsheets, but that Broadsheets uses longer sentences more often, therefore we can determine that Tabloids would be easier to read.

Word Length

In order to illustrate the differences in word  length I

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I believe that the data I have collected proves my Hypothesis that Tabloids are easier to read because I have shown that they have more % of the page devoted to pictures, photos and advertisement, suggesting more of the article is focused on text, and also have longer sentence and word length, suggesting a more complicated use  of vocabulary. The mathematical process that best shows the comparison was the Box and Whisker diagrams as they were a simple way of portraying a lot of mathematical data, the mathematical data which is of least significance are the dot plots because I believe I could have possibly represented the data in a better way eg bar charts are similar but are easier to read. To improve the project I would have liked to have had more time so I could, in turn, collect more data and my results would then be more reliable. Also I would have liked to have sampled a broader array of newspapers, i.e take results from more than one type of Tabloid/Broadsheet, this would also have made my results more reliable. Furthermore, taking a larger sample size than just 1000 words and 45 sentences may also have made my results more reliable.

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