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The Language of sports reports, a comparative approach between tabloid and broadsheets.

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Ryan Wilson R03683


This project is based on relating to the difference between a particular sports report portrayed in both the tabloid and broadsheet newspapers. The report is a football report focusing on one match in particular. – Manchester United versus Maccabi Hyfa. This project will be focusing on the stylistic differences evident in the two reports.

The subject of the report is football. However this is of little importance as it is the difference between the tabloid and broadsheet newspapers I am looking for. With particular reference to the stylistic features evident. Features such lexis choice, (i.e. words with a high amount of syllables) compound/complex sentences, (with reference to sub clauses etc. –

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The proportion of direct speech compared to the actual report will also be considered.

Relevant Research / Theory

Sara Thorne was the choice of author when performing some background research. Sara seems to have performed an extensive amount of research in this area.

Sara pays particular reference to “the function of newspaper language.”

Sara makes many string points within her book, many of which relate to the investigation I am performing.

“ Originally newspapers were used by governments to prom0ote certain political views. By the nineteenth century, they were used to convey news: while the twentieth-century newspaper now deals as much with entertainment as it does with information.”

“Different types of people buy different newspapers. Broadsheets

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The Independent – 672/38 = 1 in every 17 words has three syllables

The Sun – 365/15 = 1 in ever 24 words has three syllables



Word Syntax


Gathering the data was the first task to be completed. This task simply consisted of gaining two sports reports, one from a broadsheet, and one from a tabloid newspaper. The two reports were then analysed and inspected. This included an extensive amount of counting and “number crunching.” For example,  

Frameworks were used to analyse the data collected, with the intention of seeing if the styles of the two newspapers differ in any way. The frameworks that were looked at include:

  • Discourse structure was applied to see if either of the two reports deviate from the “norm” with reference to the structure and content of both tabloid and broadsheet sports reports.
  • The Lexis of the two pieces


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