Investigation into how broadsheet newspapers word length differs from tabloids.
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Mathematics Coursework Investigation into how broadsheet newspapers word length differs from tabloids. What I am going to investigate. The subject into which I will be investigating will be whether or how the word length differs between tabloid and broadsheet newspapers I will be taking a sample containing equal number of words from both a tabloid and a broadsheet newspaper. Fairness and Reliability To keep my results fair and reliable I will need to do several things 1. I will need to clearly define which newspapers I consider to be tabloid and broadsheet to avoid any confusion. 2. I will need to randomly sample newspapers so that I am not just comparing the same two publications 3. I will need to compare similar subject matter's e.g. the same headlines in two different newspapers and the stories that follow them. 4. I will need to select a suitable word sample size that is neither too small to gain any information from or so large that the data involved is difficult to organise and analyse. 5. I will need to take care with the actually recording of the results as I will be dealing with large numbers of words mistakes can be very easy to do so I will need to take the utmost caution.
the number 10,000 will be counted as a 5 letter word, this might affect my results slightly however tabloid newspapers might not use as many figures and factual evidence as a broadsheet so this might count in my favour to show a strong correlation. * Acronyms and abbreviations will be counted by the number of letters they contain for example the abbreviation U.S.S.R would be counted as a 4 letter word and not the 4 separate words that it stands for. Although these might not be the ideal solutions to the problems encountered I feel that I have dealt with the problems in a proper way as to not detrimentally affect my results. Results Here are my results: Tabloids: Daily Mail: "Marines in mountain hunt for terrorists" Frequency No. of letters in word cumulative frequency fx Graph Correspondence 3 1 3 3 1 29 2 32 58 41 3 73 123 37 4 110 148 23 5 133 115 12 6 145 72 19 7 164 133 13 8 177 104 9 9 186 81 8 10 194 80 5 11 199 55 0 12 199 0 0 13 199 0 1 14 200 14 0 15 200 0 total no.
because they all look the same, what graphs 1-6 should show is the tabloids curve being steeper at the shorter words and then falling off to a plateau at a lower word length whereas the broadsheet cumulative frequency graphs should increase at a shallower angle and take longer to reach a plateau. The Word length Vs Frequency graphs have much more pleasing results you can see on graphs 1-3 that they have one peak which is skewed towards the shorter word lengths on graphs 3-6 you can see that although the graphs main peak is at the shorter word lengths they also have a secondary peak which is in the longer word area, these graphs have a much more even distribution of the points. From looking at the mean averages however there is only a very marginal difference between the two. My results neither prove nor disprove my hypothesis in fact they are both disappointing and inconclusive. Next time I would prefer to carry out an investigation which allows me to use a greater scope of analytical techniques, by choosing to compare word lengths I have cut down on the amount that I can use because the data can not be used in scatter graphs and then more interesting ways of doing the investigation would have been opened up to me.
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