Main Question:

What is the readability level of your hometown newspaper? Does national newspaper, such as USA Today, have higher readability level than your hometown newspaper?

Objective

The primary objectives of this project are to learn how to use random numbers to collect data, organize data, display data and write a statistics project report.

Activities

According to Dr. Fry’s Readability formula below, the readability of an article depends on the average number of words and the average number of syllables in a sentence. For an article if every 100 words have 8 sentences and 120 syllables in average, then according to the Fry Readability Formula, the readability of that article is at second grade level.

It was told that the readability of newspapers is lower than 5th grade level. This project is to test the readability of your hometown newspaper. In order to complete this project, you need to collect data from your hometown newspaper to know how many syllables and how many sentences in average per 100 words of your hometown newspaper. Notice that you need to use random numbers to get unbiased data to make a convincing conclusion.

1. Select a copy of newspaper. (Which copy of the newspaper is representing?)

2. Select articles of the newspaper. (Which articles of the newspaper are representing?)

3. Select 30 sentences from the articles you selected. (Which sentences are representing?)

4. Count number of words and syllables of each sentence. (How to count words and syllables of each sentence? (How many words and syllables for the phrase ’16 GB thumb drive for \$24.95?’)

Your data should be a table as following:

Word count Syllable count

Sentence 1 Xxx Xxx

… Sentence 30 Xxx Xxx

Total Xxxxxxxx5. Create frequency distribution and histogram for your word count and syllable count.

6. Calculate average number of sentence and syllables per hundred words.

The total word count /30 = average word count per sentence

N = 100/average word count per sentence = number of sentence per 100 words

The total syllables count/30 = average syllables count per sentence

M = N*average syllables count per sentence = number of syllables per hundred words

Apply N as vertical coordinate and M as horizontal coordinate to the Fry Graph Readability Formula, you will find out the readability level of the newspaper.

Remark: