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• Level: GCSE
• Subject: Maths
• Word count: 4200

Data Handling Project

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Timothy Howard – Maths Coursework

Data Handling Project

I have investigated the word length of newspapers, to be able to make a conclusion on the type of reader. My investigation centers around the hypothesis, “More intelligent people read broadsheets.” This statement is stereotypical, however to be able to prove that hypothesis, another hypothesis has to be proven; “Broadsheet newspapers have longer words than Tabloid newspapers.” What I want to find out is the length of words in a Broadsheet newspaper and then the length of words in a Tabloid newspaper. For the hypothesis to be proved or disproved, there requires results and data, which must be collected and presented to show the hypothesis to be correct. I have also used other hypotheses, “Words in the News section of all newspapers, will have longer words than the other sections of that newspaper.” I also will use the statement, “Broadsheets give a higher proportion of the newspaper to news articles, than tabloid newspapers.” These different hypotheses will contribute to the investigation.

Firstly the investigation requires newspapers, as the data is being collected from them. The investigation needs differing newspapers, there is no point in an investigation with two similar tabloid newspapers, as the results that we would expect would be too similar. Therefore I have chosen the newspapers which are different. My broadsheet is “The Herald Tribune”, which is a traditional long established broadsheet newspaper. My Tabloid newspaper is “The Sun” which is very popular and one of the first Tabloid newspapers. I have however decided to include in my investigation another newspaper, as it could act as control between the newspapers; it would make my investigation more balanced and therefore more accurate.

Middle

The Box & Whisker diagram shows the median, which for the entire of the Herald Tribune is 5, which means that the median length of a word in the Herald Tribune is 5 letters. The maximum length of a word in the Herald Tribune was 13, while the minimum was 2.

I will now show the stem & leaf diagram which I used before:

Stem and Leaf Diagram for Herald Tribune:

1:

2: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

3: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

4: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

5: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

6: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

7: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

8: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

9: 0 0

10: 0 0 0 0

11:

12: 0

13: 0

The stem & leaf diagram shows the mode to be 4, as it occurs 20 times, and then 7 as it occurs 19 times. The stem & leaf diagram holds more data in this one, as it covers the entire newspaper of the Herald Tribune.

The Histogram presents the information in a similar way, so I will again show you the results as the Histogram presents them:

The histogram again shows the modal values. The x axis shows word length, and the y axis shows the frequency.

All Results:

Herald Tribune:

NEWS:

 No. Tally Total 1 0 2 2 3 2 4 9 5 5 6 4 7 8 8 7 9 0 10 0 11 0 12 1 13 1

Herald Tribune:

ENTERTAINMENT:

 No. Tally Total 1 0 2 0 3 0 4 5 5 3 6 2 7 4 8 1 9 0 10 2 11 0 12 0 13 0

Conclusion

• The price of the newspapers is also very different, on a weekday, the Herald Tribune cost 120p, a weekday Daily Mail, costs 40p and a weekday Sun, costs 25p. This may be because the Herald Tribune believes that people will pay more for a quality newspaper, it also may be because they believe that wealthier people read the Herald Tribune, so can afford to pay for it. Another fact to consider is that The Sun and the Daily Mail sell more copies of their newspaper than the Herald Tribune in the United Kingdom so can bring the price down. However the Herald Tribune is one of the worlds’s best selling newspaper.

The project could have been improved if there was a larger sample, as then it would have been more accurate and we could make more definitive points. On the other hand it was a successful project as I was able to compare all the sections, and prove or disprove my hypotheses. If I were to do the project again, I would use more newspapers, such as two tabloids, two quality tabloids and two broadsheets. I would then conduct the sampling over several days’ newspapers (making sure the days are the same) so then I would have a very accurate result. I would also look at other hypotheses, such as paragraph length and complexity of words. One thing I found was that if there was a shorter word in the broadsheet it was usually more complex than the tabloid, for instance the word “old-fashioned” was used in the Sun, while the word “antiquated” was used in the Herald Tribune. The word “antiquated” has 10 letters its meaning is the same as “old-fashioned” however old fashioned has 13 letters. Antiquated is more complex however. So it is unfair to say that a more intelligent reader would read a newspaper with longer words.

GCSE Mathematics

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