Mathematics Coursework - Statistics
My objective is to compare three different newspapers by using the following information:
- The readability in terms of standard of language evidenced in different newspapers.
- The amount of space devoted to various sections such as Sport, news and business.
- The number of pages, size and the cost of each of the three newspapers.
- Another thing that I will look at is the average newspaper in terms of size and cost.
The three newspapers that I will compare are: -
- The Sunday Times, which is a Broadsheet newspaper sold right throughout the UK containing news from right across the UK. It is mostly read by a person with a high standard of language such as a businessman. People may also wish to read the advertisements for housing, recruitment and classified advertisements. There are pages in this newspaper.
- The Western Mail, which is a Tabloid newspaper, containing national news. This is one of the most popular tabloid newspapers currently being sold. It contains news on a variety of current events with a focus on features and leisure. It is considered an interesting paper for the reader. There are 90 pages in this newspaper.
- The Telegraph is a Broadsheet newspaper with news from all over the world. It is known for its well-written articles and opinions and its readership tends to be members of the professional and business classes. There are 100 pages in this newspaper.
I think that:
- The Sunday Times will have a large amount of business, but I don’t think that it will have as much as the Times.
- The Western Mail will be the newspaper that has percentages closest to the average, in terms of space devoted to different items, as it is a middle classed newspaper.
- The Telegraph will have more business, as the reader is usually of a higher class such as a business man for example.
I think that when I am comparing the readability of the newspapers:
- The Sunday Times will have a high language level in the newspaper, and will have a similar measure of spread in word length as The Times will have.
- The Western Mail will have the lowest language level out of the three newspapers.
- The Telegraph will also have a high language level. I would rate The Times and The Sunday Times on equal par.
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Telegraph
The Sunday Mirror
Pie charts to show the difference in each of the following sections from all three of the newspapers
A table to show the percentages of different sections in my three newspapers and the mean newspaper
This is a preview of the whole essay
I shall use four line graphs to show my information as it is the simplest way of displaying my data clearly and easy to understand.
- The information from each of the three newspapers seems to create the same sort of shape on the line graphs.
- The percentage of Advertisements in two of the newspapers is higher than in any of the other sections, with news following closely behind.
- The Sunday Times has the highest percentage of Property information, the highest percentage of reviews, the highest percentage of business information and the lowest percentage of news.
- The percentage of information on weather is the lowest in all of the three newspapers.
- The Sunday Telegraph has the highest percentage of News review, Business, Money, Culture/TV, and it has the lowest percentage of Sport, Appointments, Cartoons, Weather, Driving and Properties.
- The Sunday Mirror has the highest percentage of News, Sport and Travel, and the lowest percentage of News Reviews, Business, Money, Appointments, Cartoons, Driving and property.
The next thing that I will do is compare the three newspapers: -
- According to the number of pages.
Using the information that I get from the newspapers, I will work out an average newspaper. I am going to work out an average newspaper because the average uses all of the information and I will get a more accurate and fair result with this type of information.
To do this I will get the following information from my three newspapers:
- The cost of the newspaper.
- The sheet size of the newspaper.
- The number of pages in the newspaper.
- The cost per page of the newspaper.
- The cost per cm² of the newspaper.
- The best value newspaper for cost per cm² is The Sunday Telegraph and the Sunday Mirror. The worst value is The Sunday Telegraph.
- The newspaper that has the number of pages closest to the mean newspaper is The Sunday Mirror.
- The Sunday Times is the newspaper that is most unlike the mean newspaper overall.
- The newspaper that has the cost and the cost per page closest to the mean newspaper is The Sunday Telegraph.
In the final section of my Maths coursework I will look at the readability, according to the standard of language throughout my three newspapers.
I will go by this by figuring out the length of the words and the lengths of the sentences in an article from each of the three newspapers. I will find an article in each of the three newspapers that is on the same topic. This will enable me to see how the different newspapers approach that topic.
As Britain is currently undergoing war on Iraq and Saddam Hussein, I have decided to analyse articles on that topic.
The first part of information I will retrieve is the words’ lengths in each of the three articles.
The Sunday Times - War on Iraq
The Sunday Telegraph – War on Iraq
The Sunday Mirror – War on Iraq
To display this information more clearly I am going to use bar graphs. On my bar graphs I will mark on it the upper-quartile range, the lower-quartile range and I will also use standard deviation, as it is a useful way of measuring the spread of the information that I have collected, as it uses all of my information, unlike when I am collecting results for just one newspaper.
The bigger the measure of spread, the higher the standard of language will be, because every sentence needs small words to make sense. A large measure of spread would also reveal that there are words with many letters in as well.
A smaller measure of spread reveals that the length of the words is not varied as much, but it could be saying that nearly all of the words were short, or that nearly all of the words were long, or maybe even in between.
Here is the formula to work out standard deviation:
I will not be using this equation as there are other methods of working out the standard deviation. One of these other methods is to use a table, it will give me the same answers but in much less time.
The Sunday Times:
The Sunday Telegraph:
The Sunday Mirror:
The next thing that I will do is see how many words there are per sentence, this will allow me to analyse the readability of the newspaper, my prediction is that the longer the sentence, the higher the standard of language will be.
The Sunday Times:
The Sunday Telegraph:
The Sunday Mirror:
I will also use Cumulative frequency curves to show this information as it shows the quartiles ranges clearly.
The Observer has the smallest inter-quartile range for letters per word.
The Daily Mail has the highest inter-quartile range and upper quartile for letters per word.
The Times has the highest median and lower quartile for letters per word.
The Observer has the smallest measure of spread and the lowest mean for letters per word.
The Daily Mail has the highest mean and the largest measure of spread for letters per word.
The Times has values for letters per word between The Observer and The Daily Mail.
The Observer has the highest median and lower quartile for words per sentence.
The Daily Mail has the lowest median, lower quartile, upper quartile and interquartile range out of all of the newspapers, for words per sentence.
The Times has the highest upper quartile and interquartile range for words per sentence.
The Average Newspaper:
My Final Conclusion:
I think I used the right the strategies to investigate the newspapers.
By working out the percentages of each section in the newspapers it was easy for me to compare which sort of information is priority to the different type of newspaper. By doing this I was able to find out the following information:
- All of the newspapers contained mostly advertisements, and as newspapers can charge quite a lot to publish an advert, they are probably the newspapers main source of income, and this is what keeps their prices low.
Other than advertisements, the newspapers had the following priorities:
- The Observer’s main priority would seem to be Property, as there is a higher percentage of pages in that section.
- The Daily Mail’s main priority is News and Sport, according to the percentage of pages shown in each of the sections.
- The Times priorities would seem to lie with News, sport and business.
My first hypothesis for this part of the investigation was almost correct; The Observer did have the highest percentage of Property information out of all of the newspapers, but not the highest percentage of advertisements. My second hypothesis was mostly wrong, apart from having weather and business percentages closest to the mean. I have learnt that just because the Daily Mail is in-between the Observer and the Times in terms of Class, it does not necessarily mean that it is closest to being the Average newspaper. This lesson also applies to the next hypothesis I made, which was saying that the Times will have a higher percentage of News because it is aimed at the Business and Professional classes, however it did have the highest percentage of Business news, which is as I predicted.
For the Second part of my investigation, I used the only method I could think of to compare the newspapers in terms of size, number of pages and cost of the newspapers. By simply drawing a table containing this information, i was able to compare them easily and work out what properties the Mean newspaper would have. I also managed to work out the best-valued newspaper out of all three, which was The Times, this matches the hypothesis i made, however it is not entirely accurate as the newspapers have different types of information on each page, so it does not tell me which is the best valued newspaper in terms of the actual News/Information.
For the Last part of the investigation, I think I chose the best way of analysing the data that I could. To analyse the readability and language levels in the articles I chose, I looked at word length and sentence length. The only problem with doing this is that the difficulty of understanding a word can not be judged by the length of word, as there are plenty of long words which are easy to understand, for example “because, television, newspapers, information, arrangements”, but of course there are many long words which are harder to understand. So the method I chose was not entirely accurate. The only way I think I could have analysed the articles more accurately is if I had taken a sample of words form the articles, and conducted a survey to see whether people found the words easy or difficult to understand. There is the same problem with analysing words per sentence, but I don’t know of any other way I could have tackled this part of the investigation.
Using standard deviation to measure the spread of the word length, I think was the best way of tackling that part of the investigation, as it took into consideration all of the data I had collected, and it made it easier for me to analyse the language levels. I had worked out that a large measure of spread would show a higher language level, and that a small measure of spread would show that the word length is not varied that much, but it may mean that either the words were all mostly short, mostly long, or somewhere in-between. By working out the standard deviation I was able to work out the following information:
- The Observer had the smallest measure of spread and the lowest mean for letters per word, which shows us that it has the lowest language level out of all of the newspapers, this corresponds with the hypothesis I made about measure of spread for the Observer.
- The Daily Mail has the highest mean and the largest measure of spread for letters per word, showing that it has the highest language level out of all the newspapers which proves the hypothesis I made, about the Times having the highest language level in terms of word length, wrong.
- The Times’ standard deviation values are in-between those of the Observer and The Daily Mail. which proves the hypothesis i made wrong.
The hypotheses i made for this part of the investigation were on the right track, only my hypotheses for the Daily Mail and The Times turned out to be the opposite way round to how i had expected.