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Investigating how the number of letters in a word and number of words in a sentence is affected by what newspaper it appears in.

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Introduction

Tom Chaloner 11P July 2002 Maths Coursework - Statistics For my maths coursework I am investigating how the number of letters in a word and number of words in a sentence is affected by what newspaper it appears in. My hypothesis is that tabloid newspapers will have words with fewer letters and sentences with less words in them compared to broadsheet newspapers. To carry out my investigation I will be using one tabloid newspaper (The Mirror) and one broadsheet newspaper (The Independent). These were chosen because they are different types of newspaper aimed at different people and would make a good comparison. When I had both newspapers and any advertising leaflets or pull outs had been removed the investigation began. I decided to have 40 words and 40 sentences from each paper, to give a large range of data so results could be accurate as possible. It is very important that all my samples are chosen randomly so that the data is representative of the population. To make the word and sentences samples random I use a calculator with a random sample button to input how many pages in the certain newspaper, then it takes a random page number. ...read more.

Middle

4 16 39 43 2 4 18 40 Total = 40 40 846 22279 Mean = Mode = Median = Upper Quartile = Lower Quartile = Inter Quartile = Standard Deviation = Paper 2 - (Broadsheet - The Independent) Words Word Length (x) Tally f fx fx� Cumulative 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 8 4 3 4 12 36 8 4 8 36 128 16 5 6 30 150 22 6 5 30 180 27 7 8 56 392 35 8 2 16 128 37 9 2 18 162 39 13 1 13 169 40 Total = 40 40 217 1355 Mean = Mode = Median = Upper Quartile = Lower Quartile = Inter Quartile = Standard Deviation = Paper 2 - (Broadsheet - The Independent) Sentences Sentence Length (x) Tally f fx fx� Cumulative 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 4 8 3 8 2 16 128 5 11 3 33 363 8 12 1 12 144 9 13 2 26 338 11 14 3 42 588 14 15 1 15 225 15 16 3 48 768 18 17 2 34 578 20 18 2 36 648 22 20 1 20 400 23 21 1 21 441 24 24 2 48 1152 26 25 1 25 625 27 26 3 78 2028 30 ...read more.

Conclusion

Also I expected the sentence length to be longer for similar reasons. Though the sentence length results do not back up this hypothesis, the range of sentence length does. The range was larger for broadsheet papers, which represents the more varied size of sentences. This shows that the writer uses more complex English that is aimed at more intelligent people (businessmen, stock brokers etc) compared to the tabloid newspaper which is aimed at and written by younger people and is more related to entertainment and 'gossip'. Evaluation I am happy with my results and representation of them. My results could of improved (to fit my hypothesis) if the newspapers chosen were from the same week or day, as some events or issues could be more complicated to explain than other, thus needing more complex language to be used. Also my results could have improved if I had more time to take more words from each newspaper, or use more than one tabloid and broadsheet newspaper in my investigation. The only errors I encountered were when my random word was part of an advertisement. In this case I just took another word to make sure my total was 40 words. I am generally pleased with the investigation work I have carried out and the results that I have obtained. ...read more.

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