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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 7830

Outline any differences between Tabloid and Broadsheet Newspapers in terms of word length, sentence construction/readability and the amount of text presented on the page.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Maths Coursework – Read All About It!

Plan

Aim

The aim of this investigation is to outline any differences between Tabloid and Broadsheet Newspapers in terms of word length, sentence construction/readability and the amount of text presented on the page.

I shall investigate the following three hypotheses:

  1. There is less variation in word length in articles from tabloid newspapers than in articles from broadsheet newspapers.
  1. More text is presented on a page (in proportion with size of page) in Broadsheet Newspapers than Tabloid Newspapers. (Ie. % of text on page)
  1. Tabloid Newspapers give an “easier read” than Broadsheet Newspapers (lower reading age)

The investigation will attempt to reach conclusions regarding these three specific hypotheses. In investigating these hypotheses a range of sampling methods, presentation of data, and statistical calculations will be used in order to interpret and evaluate the data and to come to a valid conclusion, drawing together all of the data.

Each hypothesis will be presented and it will be explained what statistical methods will be involved in drawing conclusions for these hypotheses.

In this investigation I shall collect my data from four different newspapers. I shall use two Tabloid newspapers and two Broadsheet newspapers to collect my data. I have chosen to do this so that I can draw accurate conclusions from my data, regarding Tabloid and Broadsheet Newspapers in general rather than specific conclusions about “The Times” or any other newspaper. The two Tabloid Newspapers I shall use are “The Daily Mail” and “The Daily Mirror”. The two Broadsheet Newspapers I shall use are “The Times” and “The Guardian”. I shall collect my data from newspapers of the same date. This is because they will all contain articles on similar current events/news and so I can compare the articles and collect my data accurately and fairly.

Hypothesis 1:

...read more.

Middle

1

5

5

-3.23

10.43

52.16

2

12

24

-2.23

4.97

59.67

3

24

72

-1.23

1.51

36.31

4

19

76

-0.23

0.05

1.01

5

14

70

0.77

0.59

8.30

6

13

78

1.77

3.13

40.73

7

7

49

2.77

7.67

53.71

8

5

40

3.77

14.21

71.06

9

1

9

4.77

22.75

22.75

10

0

0

5.77

33.29

0.00

11

0

0

6.77

45.83

0.00

12

0

0

7.77

60.37

0.00

13

0

0

8.77

76.91

0.00

13+

TOTALS

100

423

345.71

Mean  =

 4.23

SD =

 3.46

Sample 2

THE MIRROR

(National News)

Number Of Letters

Frequency

image02.png

image03.png

image04.png

1

7

7

-3.42

11.70

81.87

2

13

26

-2.42

5.86

76.13

3

19

57

-1.42

2.02

38.31

4

17

68

-0.42

0.18

3.00

5

15

75

0.58

0.34

5.05

6

12

72

1.58

2.50

29.96

7

8

56

2.58

6.66

53.25

8

3

24

3.58

12.82

38.45

9

4

36

4.58

20.98

83.91

10

1

10

5.58

31.14

31.14

11

1

11

6.58

43.30

43.30

12

0

0

7.58

57.46

0.00

13

0

0

8.58

73.62

0.00

13+

0

0

TOTALS

100

442

484.36

Mean  =

 4.42

SD =

 4.84

Sample 3

THE MAIL

(Iraq Crisis)

Number Of Letters

Frequency

image02.png

image03.png

image04.png

1

6

6

-3.39

11.49

68.95

2

16

32

-2.39

5.71

91.39

3

20

60

-1.39

1.93

38.64

4

16

64

-0.39

0.15

2.43

5

12

60

0.61

0.37

4.47

6

12

72

1.61

2.59

31.11

7

8

56

2.61

6.81

54.50

8

3

24

3.61

13.03

39.10

9

5

45

4.61

21.25

106.26

10

2

20

5.61

31.47

62.94

11

0

0

6.61

43.69

0.00

12

0

0

7.61

57.91

0.00

13

0

0

8.61

74.13

0.00

13+

0

0

0.00

0.00

TOTALS

100

439

499.79

Mean  =

 4.39

SD =

 5.00

Sample 4

THE MAIL

(National News)

Number Of Letters

Frequency

image02.png

image03.png

image04.png

1

5

5

-3.28

10.76

53.79

2

17

34

-2.28

5.20

88.37

3

24

72

-1.28

1.64

39.32

4

14

56

-0.28

0.08

1.10

5

15

75

0.72

0.52

7.78

6

10

60

1.72

2.96

29.58

7

5

35

2.72

7.40

36.99

8

3

24

3.72

13.84

41.52

9

4

36

4.72

22.28

89.11

10

2

20

5.72

32.72

65.44

11

1

11

6.72

45.16

45.16

12

0

0

7.72

59.60

0.00

13

0

0

8.72

76.04

0.00

13+

0

0

0

0

TOTALS

100

428

498.16

Mean  =

 4.28

SD =

 4.98

Therefore the mean word length for Tabloid Newspapers  = 4.33 (2dp)

The mean Standard Deviation of the word lengths  = 4.57 (2dp)

I shall later compare these results with those obtained for Broadsheet Newspapers to determine which type of newspaper contains the least variation in word length.

Hypothesis 2:

When investigating my second hypothesis I collected my data in the following table:

Sample

Page

Total Area Of

Total Area of

Total Area Of

% of Text on

% of Pictures

No.

No.

Page (cm²)

Pictures (cm²)

 Text (cm²)

 page

on page 

1

2

2146

449

1697

79.08

20.92

2

20

2146

349

1797

83.74

16.26

Etc.

For each newspaper I collected data from 7 different pages. I then calculated the areas of the page that consist of text and the area of the page that consists of pictures or advertisements. I converted these figures in to percentages to show the percentage of the page consisting of text or pictures. Once I had collected all data and worked out the percentages for each page of the newspapers, I calculated the mean percentages and areas of the pages devoted to text or pictures. I then produced a pie chart representing this information for each Newspaper. Finally I calculated the mean percentages of pictures/text per page for Broadsheet and Tabloid newspaper and I presented my results in the form of a pie chart. I also produced a bar chart, which compares the two sets of data for the different types of newspaper. It will be much easier to notice any significant differences between the two sets of data if they are presented on the same graph/chart. I shall use this bar chart and the other results to come to any conclusions regarding my hypothesis.

In the following section I shall present the tables in which my data was collected and any calculations used to work out the averages and percentages:

I have also separated my data in to Tabloid and Broadsheet Newspapers:

Broadsheet Newspapers

THE TIMES

Sample

Page

Total Area Of

Total Area of

Total Area Of

% of Text on page

% of Pictures on page

No.

No.

Page (cm²)

Pictures (cm²)

 Text (cm²)

1

2

2146

449

1697

79.08

20.92

2

20

2146

349

1797

83.74

16.26

3

21

2146

98.5

2047.5

95.41

4.59

4

29

2146

281.5

1864.5

86.88

13.12

5

33

2146

457

1689

78.70

21.30

6

36

2146

184

1962

91.43

8.57

7

41

2146

195

1951

90.91

9.09

MEAN:

287.71

1858.29

86.59

13.41

THE GUARDIAN

Sample

Page

Total Area Of

Total Area of

Total Area Of

% of Text on page

% of Pictures on page

No.

No.

Page (cm²)

Pictures (cm²)

 Text (cm²)

1

2

2261

912.5

1348.5

59.64

40.36

2

4

2261

503.5

1757.5

77.73

22.27

3

14

2261

380.5

1880.5

83.17

16.83

4

22

2261

336

1925

85.14

14.86

5

23

2261

236

2025

89.56

10.44

6

29

2261

488.25

1772.75

78.41

21.59

7

36

2261

340

1921

84.96

15.04

MEAN:

456.68

1804.32

79.80

20.20

Mean percentage of text per page for BROADSHEET newspapers =

83.20

Mean percentage of pictures per page for BROADSHEET newspapers =

16.80

...read more.

Conclusion

It could also be argued that the newspaper that provides less variation in the reading ages of articles provides an easier read as all articles are similar in vocabulary and style which appeals to a certain age group. I could investigate the hypothesis further by calculating the standard deviation of the reading ages of articles from a certain newspaper. The newspaper that has a lower standard deviation of reading ages would show less variation in the reading ages and so it could be argued that it gives an “easier read”. When investigating the hypothesis again I would have to be more specific as to what an “easier read” is.

Conclusions:

There is less variation in word length in articles from tabloid newspapers than in articles from broadsheet newspapers. This also suggests that Tabloid newspapers provide an “easier read” than broadsheet newspapers, as less variation in word length would suggest a lower reading age (in terms of readability) with less variation in reading ages. Less variation in the reading ages of the articles provides an “easier read” as all the articles are similar in vocabulary and style which appeals to a certain age group. The tabloid newspapers also contain more pictures (more space is taken up by the use of pictures) than in broadsheet newspapers. Less text is presented on a page in a tabloid newspaper than in a broadsheet newspaper because broadsheet newspapers are written in more specific detail for a business class audience.

It is justifiable to say that to improve the results of the investigations in to all of the hypothesis a simple method could be employed. The accuracy and reliability of any conclusions would be helped if more data was collected from the newspapers.

...read more.

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