Genre Analysis

Topics: Physical attractiveness, Citation, Psychology Pages: 5 (1607 words) Published: April 24, 2013
Genre Analysis
In psychology many research has been done to analyze the effects of beauty. Are people who are considered attractive better off in life? Through recent research I discovered that attractive people do have more advantages throughout the course of their life. Two pieces of writing have confirmed these findings. The first piece is called “A Thing of beauty is a Joy Forever?” Returns to Physical Attractiveness Over the Life Course. This piece describes a study done to analyze the effects physical attractiveness has on economic and marital success, over the course of life. This is a scholarly peer reviewed article. The other article is found in the magazine Psychology Today called The Truth About Beauty. This article also describes the advantages that attractive people face. Although both pieces consist of different genres, they share similarities and differences across rhetoric, and content features, and differences amongst structure, style, and linguistic features.

Both pieces share similarities when it comes to rhetoric. Both pieces include the same audience. This audience includes people who are interested in psychology, and those interested in beauty. The discourse community consists of people who are psychologist or have any knowledge of psychology, and people who do research in beauty. The purpose of both pieces is also similar. Both pieces are trying to inform and educate the reader about the advantages attractive people have over less attractive people. This means this article would be interesting for people interested in beauty.

Although both pieces have similar rhetoric, they also have different rhetorical features. While both pieces involve the same audience, the magazine article, The Truth About Beauty appeals to a wider audience that expand to more than just people interested in psychology or beauty. This article is easier to understand and uses humor to draw its readers in. This humor also makes entertainment one of the article’s purposes. This article also focuses more on women than men because many examples in the article involving women. Much of this is due to the author of the piece. Since the author is a woman she draws example from her own life. This makes the article more appealing to women. In a Thing of Beauty a Joy Forever the audience is based more on people with basic knowledge in psychology. Proof of this can be found in the language used in the article. These words include empirical analysis, least square regression model, weakly significant, and many more. This is a language that is specific to research done in psychology and might not be understood by people outside this discourse community. The author of this article also never references himself in the paper, instead he uses his research.

Both pieces also demonstrate similarities in their content. Both pieces describe beauty as a favorable feature. In The Truth About Beauty the author states “The truth is, like knowledge, beauty is power” (Alkon).Here it’s clear that the author sees beauty as an advantage in life. In A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever the author states “These results suggest that, first, physical attractiveness matters throughout the life course” (Jaeger 983). Another similarity in content is that both pieces use citations to make references and to shape their arguments.

Since both pieces are written in two different genres, there are also differences when it comes to content. Although both pieces use citations, the sources used and the way they are cited differ. In The Truth About Beauty the author cites a book and a study. When she cites the book she states the title and the author and includes a quote from the book but she doesn’t use MLA or APA when citing. She also cites a study but once again doesn’t use MLA or APA. While for A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever the author cites various experiments that are similar to his study, and cites them by using APA style. Since he is writing a psychology...
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