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For my Coursework I have been asked to come up with three or more different methods of analyzing data from newspaper, and to incorporate evaluations, analysis, graphs to prove a hypothesis of my choice.

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Maths investigation into Newspapers

For my Coursework I have been asked to come up with three or more different methods of analyzing data from newspaper, and to incorporate evaluations, analysis, graphs to prove a hypothesis of my choice.

For each investigation I will firstly write out my hypothesis with a logical explanation as to why I chose it. Then I will collect my results and present them in a table. I will then analyze my results, create a graph suitable to the investigation at hand, and form some sort of conclusion from both table and graph, should my hypothesis be wrong, I will then try to work out why and explain why it was wrong.

For my first investigation I will study the length of a hundred words in two different newspapers, one broad-sheet (The Times), one tabloid (The Mirror) both with a political theme. I chose to use 100 words, because that would give me a fair number of words to deal with, it is a round number

Hypothesis No#1

I predict, due to a recent survey

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The Times

The Mirror    

3,8,10,16,16,35,17,23,26,9,33,              296             18.5


28,18,5,9,6,19,11,18,9,7,13,5,11,          208              13

22, 17, 8      

For a total, lengths of headlines in letters added all together for The Times equals 296, and for the mirror the totals for letter in headlines is 206.

For a mean for The Times, 296 divided by 16 equals 19 (rounded from 18.5) letters on average per headline.

For a mean for The Mirror, 206 divided by 16 equals 13 (rounded from 12.875) letters on average per headline.image01.png

Judging by the results from my table, it is clear that my hypothesis was correct in thinking that on The Times on average has longer headlines than The Mirror. My graph displays that the totals also prove this.

And for my last investigation I will be looking at the lengths of newspaper articles, 16 in total, eight for each newspaper. I will be using the Microsoft Word ‘word count’ tool, I will be using this to cut down on wasting time counting. I will make a table, similar to my previous two with alterations. This last investigation will exclude headlines and editor/writers names.

Hypothesis No#3

I predict that if the newspaper article has the same subject in use, then The Times will have a longer article written about the subject than that of The Mirror’s article. I assume this because generally broad sheet newspapers such as the Times are on average much thicker papers, which suggests to me that the story’s are lengthier and have more content.


Word Count per article



The Times

759,524,485,549,970,642, 247,477



The Mirror

493,643,565,147,166,638, 228,200



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On looking at my sets of results I can see that the first and the last investigations were badly done to start with, but I redid the last one, but I can see that the first investigation was pointless and difficult to organize results wise. The first investigation was definitely not effective, and were I to do the same investigation again, I would have found a different method to present the results, and demonstrate their value at proving or disproving the hypothesis. The hypothesis however was also weak, as I had very little evidence to prove my idea in the first place, and one survey would not prove the hypothesis properly at all.

My second investigation was the possibly most effective and the most clear to understand the results of. The third investigation after altering it twice has turned out well, and with the inter-quartile range the analysis has become quite an effective investigation. I am still disappointed with the first investigation. There was little math involved and my hypothesis proved wrong. There was more math’s involved in that investigation and I see that, although the results could have been managed in a better way, it was by far the best to prove my hypothesis than that of my other investigations.

William Davies, 10.07

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