# Read All About It!

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Introduction

Coursework

Read All About It!

Suresh is comparing magazines and newspapers and magazines. He chooses a passage from one newspaper and one magazine. They each contain 100 words. He counts the length of all the words. Suresh then says that the magazine has the shortest words. Do your own investigation into comparing newspapers.

In this piece of coursework I will compare two newspaper articles to see if the type of paper of newspaper affects the length of words and the length of sentences. To do this, I have chosen a broadsheet newspaper, The Times and a tabloid newspaper, The Daily mail.

I am going to compare the average word length as well as, the average sentence length.

The broadsheet seems to be a more political and complex newspaper as intellectual and intelligent people tend to read it and on average, I expect it to a have a longer word and sentence length whereas, I expect the tabloid to have more pictures and less complex language therefore, shorter words and shorter sentence lengths to make it a simpler paper to read for the less intelligent people can read it.

I am going to compare two newspapers, a tabloid and a broadsheet making sure that I find a similar article from the same day so I can minimize the bias and end up with a fair result.

I am going to use 100 words as I feel that it is a reasonable sized article and I have enough words to get good comparison.

Middle

9

1

9 x 1

9

10

2

10 x 2

20

11

3

11 x 3

33

Total

100

450

Number of letters (broadsheet) | Frequency | Sum | Total |

1 | 5 | 1 x 5 | 5 |

2 | 16 | 2 x 16 | 32 |

3 | 16 | 3 x 16 | 48 |

4 | 13 | 4 x 13 | 52 |

5 | 17 | 5 x 17 | 85 |

6 | 8 | 6 x 8 | 48 |

7 | 8 | 7 x 8 | 56 |

8 | 4 | 8 x 4 | 32 |

9 | 5 | 9 x 5 | 45 |

10 | 5 | 10 x 3 | 50 |

11 | 3 | 11 x 3 | 33 |

Total | 100 | 486 |

Tabloid

Mean:

To find out the mean I added the frequency column to get 100 and the added up the total column up to get 450. The mean = add all the numbers up together and divide the total by the how many there is. So:

450

100 = 4.5 = the mean word length for the tabloid.

Mode: 4 (most occurring)

Median:

There are 100 words so I divided it by 2 to get 50 and found the 50th value which is in the 4

Broadsheet

Mean:

The broadsheet clearly has a higher mean as there is more letter is total (486) and both newspapers have the same amount of words.

The mean is 486

100 = 4.86 = mean word length for the broadsheet

Mode: 5 (most occurring)

Median: 50th and the 51st value

4 and the 5= 4.5

Viewing these calculations, it proves my hypothesis of the broadsheet having longer words is correct, the mean word length in the broadsheet is higher in the broadsheet and the mode, the most occurring word length in broadsheet is 5 which is higher than the tabloid’s mode which is only 4.

The cumulative frequency graph show the comparison between the two newspapers and my hypothesis that the word length in the broadsheet is longer has been proved as the median in the tabloid is 3.6 and the broadsheet’s median is 4. Looking at the inter-quartile range (tabloid 2.6 and broadsheet 3.7) suggests that the broadsheet has a much more varied length of words.

I added box plots to make it easier to view and compare the Tabloid and the Broadsheet’s Median, Lower quartile, Upper Quartile and the Inter Quartile Range (IQR).

Both newspapers have the same range of word length which makes the box plots easier to compare.

From comparing my box plots I have found that the broadsheet has a larger IQR. This shows that the broadsheet has a larger variety of word lengths than the tabloid. The broadsheet has a larger median suggesting that the broadsheet on average, a larger word length.

Both box plots are positively skewed which implies that the word lengths are mainly small however, I think this is because of the amount of small words such as, a, the, in, a, on etc that occur in every piece of writing.

I found the spread of data around the mean using standard deviation using the formula:

X | F | Fx | Fx2 |

1 | 5 | 5 | 5 |

2 | 12 | 24 | 48 |

3 | 19 | 57 | 171 |

4 | 24 | 96 | 384 |

5 | 14 | 70 | 350 |

6 | 8 | 48 | 288 |

7 | 8 | 56 | 392 |

8 | 4 | 32 | 256 |

9 | 1 | 9 | 81 |

10 | 2 | 20 | 200 |

11 | 3 | 33 | 363 |

100 | 450 | 2538 |

Conclusion

I think the broadsheet gives more information, has a longer average word length and sentence length. Overall, my results agree with my hypothesis, however, I was expecting to have a higher percentage of writing in the broadsheet however, these articles were only small samples taken from the front pages on the same day. This should not be believed to be a true reflection of tabloids and broadsheet as, I only took one sample of each, a broadsheet and a tabloid and every newspaper article is different. I could have taken other samples from different days. If I was to do this again, if I had more time, I would take more than one sample of a broadsheet and a tabloid newspaper so there would be a better comparison between tabloid and broadsheet newspapers. I would also take a bigger sample of words and sentences to compare so again, I can get a fairer and better comparison.

- what have you found overall in relation to yuor initial hypotheses?

- where there any problems in doing it?

- why should this not be believed to be a true reflection of tabloids and

broadsheets?

- if you did it again what would you change?

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Comparing length of words in newspapers section.

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