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Read All About- Analysis & Data Collection

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Statistics Coursework: Read All About It

I am investigating whether or not sentences in broadsheet newspapers contain more words than sentences in tabloid newspapers.

My main hypothesis is that sentences contain more words in broadsheet newspapers compared to tabloid newspapers.

I believe this because broadsheet newspapers are generally targeted at a more intellectual audience and articles in that type of newspapers paper are more detailed and informative.

My sub hypothesis is that there are more pictures per page in a tabloid newspaper compared to a broadsheet newspaper.

To avoid confusion this will also include adverts. This links into my main hypothesis that sentences contain more words in broadsheets; as in a tabloid newspaper more space is given to pictures so there isn’t as much space to write on.

To collect data I will be using two mainstream broadsheet and tabloid newspapers; The Times and The Daily Mail. Bias may occur if a major story breaks that might contain more information than usual; (journalists may have more to say about a devastating natural disaster than an MP’s latest antics) so to try and minimize this I will use two editions of the two newspapers- bringing the total number of newspapers to four. For my main hypothesis I will use simple random sampling, stratified sampling and systematic sampling to collect data. Firstly I will randomly choose 20 pages in each newspaper.

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I will use simple random sampling for my sub hypothesis. I will randomly choose 20 pages from each newspaper. Then I just have to count how many pictures are on the sample page. There are a variety of problems that could be encountered; for instance whether or not to include diagrams, logos and adverts in the count. I will not count diagrams and logos but to avoid too much confusion I will include pictures that are a part of adverts.

I will not be using cluster sampling, quota sampling, convenience sampling,  opinion polls or questionnaires. I am collecting data from newspapers so asking people with opinion polls, questionnaires and convenience sampling would be pointless. Cluster sampling requires the population to be divided into groups and quota sampling requires the data in the sample to be of a particular type and since my raw data is neither of these it would not work.

For my main hypothesis I will use a variety of diagrams. I plan to use histograms, cumulative frequency diagrams, box plots, population pyramids and comparative pie charts. The reason I will be using all these is I expect to get a wide range of data so it will need to be grouped and these are the best diagrams for grouped data. Because

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For my sub hypothesis I collected data from 20 pages in each newspaper. To do this I used simple random sampling to select which page I was going to collect from. This was the quickest and easiest method to select a random sample and it works especially well when only a small sample is required, which is what I needed. Also, as with the main hypothesis, every page had an equal chance of being chosen although there was no guarantee that the sample would be unbiased. I found that all of the ways to sample were unnecessary as I did not need to divide the sample into categories and data didn’t need to be obtained from people. As predicted in my plan I encountered the problem of whether or not to include adverts, diagrams, logos etc. As I stated in my plan I did allow pictures that were included in adverts but everything else didn’t count- as it isn’t really a picture. One unexpected problem that I encountered early on was the huge difference in the number of pictures on a page between the two newspapers of the same time. This actually made my data less accurate and there were quite a few anomalies that would affect the mean later on. I also had timing issues so for the sub hypothesis I only collected data from one broadsheet and one tabloid newspaper- not two like I had done for the main hypothesis.

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