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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 2423

The investigation of the average number of letters per word in a broadsheet newspaper compared to a tabloid paper .

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Data Handling Coursework 1 - Lewis Harris The investigation of the average number of letters per word in a broadsheet newspaper compared to a tabloid paper . Introduction The aim of this investigation is to see if there is a relationship between the type of newspaper and the length of the words in that paper. In this coursework I will be using two newspapers. One newspaper is The Times, which is a broadsheet. The other newspaper is The Sun, which is a tabloid. I am assuming that The Times newspaper is representative of all broadsheet newspapers and my theory is that broadsheet newspapers are aimed at the higher class , more intellectual reader .I predict that the average length of word from the broadsheet newspaper will be longer than the average length of the tabloid . I am assuming that the Sun is a good representative of tabloid newspapers, and since it is aimed at the lower class audience it will have shorter words because the audience will find this easier to read. The Hypothesis The broadsheet will contain, on average, more letters per word. The Plan I will choose an article at random from one newspaper, and then I will look in the other newspaper for an article about the same topic. I think that if the articles are about the same subject it will ensure that the data is not biased. ...read more.


Interpretation of the bar graphs The bar graphs show me that I have taken a reasonable sample of the population. This is important if my results are going to be valid. The peak in the graph, shows me the item of data that occurs the most, this is the mode. The peak for article 1 occurs at 7. The peak for article 2 occurs at 3. The peak represents the mode, which is the item of data that occurs the most often. Seven letter words are the most frequent in the broadsheet, compared to three letter words in the tabloid. I can see that my hypothesis seems to be correct. As the bar graphs seem to indicate the words in broadsheets have more letters than in the tabloids. There are some other statistical values, which are important for this investigation. * The median is the item of data in the middle, once all the items have been put in order of size, from lowest to highest, this can be found from the table above, by counting the frequency across the table and counting which one is the 20th item. * The mean is the sum of all the items of data divided by the number of items , as calculated by counting the total amount of letters and then dividing by the total number of words. * The range is the difference between the highest item of data and the lowest item of data Table of Data ...read more.


I can see that the range is wide for The Times , so I think the best way to show my results will be to create a box plot.This will eliminate the extreme values and give me a more accurate comparison. DATA FOR THE BOX PLOTS THE SUN THE TIMES Q1 11 19 Q2 14 23 Q3 16 27 Lowest value 7 8 Highest value 23 34 I will draw the box plots on the same grid , to make it easier to compare. INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS It is clear that the box plot for the Times is much further to the right , which shows that there are more words per sentence in The Times which has an interquartile range of between 19 -27 words per sentence.The interquartile range for the Sun is between 11 and 16 words per sentence. CONCLUSION The results of the investigation seem to agree with my hypothesis ,and there is a correlation between the type of newspaper and the length of the sentences in it , because the broadsheets contain more words per sentence than the tabloids . I should really have studied more than one broadsheet and tabloid , but I did not have enough time.Also , I could have studied more than one article in each newspaper. A significance test would show me how likely it is that there is a correlation between the length of the sentence and the type of paper .This should have been carried out to test the hypothesis . Lewis Harris 1 ...read more.

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