# I believe that the number of letters per word will be greater, on average, in a broadsheet newspaper than in a tabloid newspaper.

Maths Coursework-statistics

Hypothesis one

I believe that the number of letters per word will be greater, on average, in a broadsheet newspaper than in a tabloid newspaper.

Hypothesis two

I also believe that the number of words per sentence will also, on average be greater in a broadsheet newspaper than in a tabloid newspaper.

The reasons for these assumptions are due to the association of intelligence with broadsheet newspapers, and a certain lack of intelligence with tabloids. The general belief is that broadsheet newspapers such as 'The Times' are aimed at the higher earning. More intelligent reader and so, you would expect a higher quality of English used, therefore longer words and sentences. Tabloid newspapers are supposedly aimed at the lower earning, less intelligent reader and so the quality of English used wouldn't be as good as that found in a broadsheet, so the length of words and sentences one would assume would be smaller.

Plan

To test my hypotheses I would need to record the length of words and sentences form both a broadsheet and a tabloid newspaper. I decided that I would find an article on the same issue, in the belief that this would make the results fairer as the writers would be using the same topic of discussion, so the differences between both articles would be more apparent. To a certain degree this method is random sampling, except that I haven't been totally random in my choice of article. So I decided that I would record the length of the first one hundred words from each article, and also record the number of words in the first ten sentences of the same article. From these results I would then hopefully be able to draw conclusions with regards to my two hypotheses. If I were to make the results fairer I would need to take the length of words from more articles, as it would give more accurate representation of the whole newspaper. If I were to really increase the accuracy of my findings I would need to take samples from many different broadsheet and tabloid newspapers, ideally every single one, in order to fully test my hypothesis. The same for my second hypothesis, to make the results more accurate, it would have been better taking more results from the same paper, but a different article and also from a range of newspapers.

I also ignored any names or titles found in either article, as if used in both, they would be the same and they are nor proper words really anyway.

Results

To carry out my investigation I bought a copy of 'the Times' newspaper and a copy of 'The Daily Mail', broadsheet and tabloid respectively. I had originally planned to draw up tables, with each set of one hundred words' lengths. But as I began this I realised that how time consuming it would be, so I decided to draw up frequency tables instead. You simply put the raw data into a tally chart, for the number of times each length is recorded and you are left with the frequency of each record in you results.

(Seen below)

Results for 'the Times' (word length and sentence length)

Length of word

Frequency

3

2

21

3

5

4

9

5

1

6

1

7

8

8

2

9

6

0

1

2

2

0

3

Sentence number

Length

24

2

38

3

7

4

45

5

37

6

34

7

26

8

...