Here is a more common type of comparison task.
This graph shows the participation rates in sports in Canada in 2005.
Notice that there are very big differences in the participation in some sports and very little difference in the participation in others. For example:
BOYS PARTICIPATE MUCH MORE THAN GIRLS IN:
GIRLS PARTICIPATE MUCH MORE THAN BOYS IN:
BOYS AND GIRLS PARTICIPATE AT ABOUT THE SAME LEVEL IN:
Here is one approach to writing the ‘big picture’ statement:
“Overall, boys participate in Golf and Ice Hockey far more than girls while Swimming and Volleyball are far more popular with girls than boys. In addition, the data also shows that participation in both Cycling and Tennis is approximately equal.”
The way we have grouped the data is by realising that there are big differences between some participation rates for boys and girls and very little difference for others. Note that we DON’T just look for a BIG GAP, if we did that we would mix up the boys and girls, we look for a big gap where boys have the greatest participation and a big gap where girls have the greatest participation. Finally we look for sports where this gap is not significant between the boys and girls. This provides a very simple and logical way to group the data.
Note that the sports with almost equal participation really are very close together but even if there were a slightly greater difference, it would have still been put in the group that showed the difference was not very big. For example, the figures for soccer could have been used in this graph where the participation for boys and girls was:
boys …. 9%
girls …. 11%
Although the participation of girls is higher than boys, it is NOT very much higher so It would be put in the group of almost equal participation.
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(Data source: based on http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-595-m/2008060/t-c-g/c-g10-eng.htm )