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Sun WP1

By Hanhuisun Apr 28, 2015 1915 Words
 April 15,2015
Dear Anya,
Throughout the process of writing this comparative essay, I felt that the most important task was to analyze and describe the conventions that separated the genres that were discussed. I organized my paper so that a reader with no knowledge of the genres would be able to read it and gain a basic understanding of both genres before I began contrasting the genres. By completing this essay I feel that I have obtained a sufficient understanding of the writing strategies that we first discussed in class. I am especially glad that we discussed how to read like a writer because I feel that reading analytically is one of my strengths and the class discussions helped me to understand my strength in this aspect. However, I feel that I still have much to learn in terms of establishing credibility because of I still do a poor job of incorporating sources smoothly in my paragraphs. In this specific paper, my paragraphs were clear and concise; I feel that readers would not be confused at any point of what my purpose is. My peers who reviewed my paper agreed that the strength of this essay was its clarity. The hardest part of completing this essay for me was picking two genres that could be compared in-depth and also finding examples to incorporate as evidence. The two genres I chose to write about in my project builders were bad examples to use and therefore I had to select new genres and examples to write about right before the first draft of the writing project. If I had more time, I would’ve spent more timing researching examples to use as evidence because I feel that my essay lacks in well-incorporated quotes. When it is time to edit this writing project for the final portfolio I plan to spend a lot more time finding reputable sources and using the right context to transition into the selected quotes without any awkwardness. As for feedback, I would like to ask how I could incorporate more sources without making my paragraphs go off topic or awkwardly long. Also, I have doubts that my current essay format is the best format for this type of comparative essay so I’d also like feedback about the formatting of my paper. Other then advice for citations and structures I would also like advice for bettering the flow of the essay from paragraph to paragraph. Though I feel that my paper is very clear, I do think that is quite clunky at points.


Hanhui Sun

Hanhui Sun

WP 1
The two genres that will be explored in this essay are magazine articles and newspaper articles. Before beginning to observe the precise similarities and differences between the two genres it is important to note that both genres are nonfiction informative texts that serve to bring news of varying importance to the targeted audience. Magazine articles are usually written for the general public and do not reflect in-depth research while news articles target a more specific audience or community and back the opinions it claims with at least some in-depth research. While there are a few stylistic similarities between magazine and newspaper articles, they still contrast greatly in their word choice, location, and overall structure. Magazine articles are a major form of entertainment and the market for magazines has been steadily growing along with popularity of reality shows. Almost all magazine articles are written to inform about current popular events or popular culture, these articles are often used for solely entertainment purposes. The structure of magazine articles corresponds with the purpose of the genre itself, magazine articles are often littered with color photos or graphics for constant entertainment and visual impact. Magazine articles also tend to list obscure sources as backing for their claims; authors of magazine articles are able to do this because the targeted audience doesn’t care about the validity of the source because they are busy being entertained. Magazines are for the most part driven by advertisements, so often times the content in larger magazines is limited by the advertisers guidelines. Since the purpose of magazines is to entertain, writers often write knowing that the readers will be looking over the magazine in their leisurely time, readers would not be analyzing the magazines content, the audience is reading these magazines to take a break from working all day. Therefore, the content within such magazine articles is often trivial and so authors must create catchy headlines in order to catch the reader’s attention and get them to continue reading the whole article. Take People Magazine’s headline for their celebrity column this week for example, “Divorce Court: Man Accuses Girlfriend of Sleeping with Entire Wu-Tang Clan”, this headline is obviously outrageous and would attract the attention of even readers who are not fans of the Wu-Tang Clan. The text size and structuring of the headline also reveals how magazine writers truly think, the headline is huge and intensely colorful when compared to the rest of the text and capitalization of each beginning letter draws even more attention to the headline.

Newspaper articles are a completely different genre that should be understood by its audience since it plays such an important role in shaping human opinions. Newspaper writers are numerous and all strive to be the first or foremost in their role to inform about current events and issues both internationally and domestically. For newspaper writers location is extremely important, one would not print the same news stories about specific city ordinances in two different cities, because the targeted audience in the other city would not care about the article. Newspaper articles must be interesting, catchy, and new, they serve the purpose of presenting diverse opinions on far-reaching issues that the average American would care about. Newspaper editors are constantly trying to attract new readers and so articles tend to be punchy and informative, a good newspaper article would not have any “fluff” or irrelevant filler stories in it. Since the newspaper industry is so competitive, writers must constantly be analyzing the demographics and watching their sales for patterns of change. As a result of the newspaper’s constantly changing nature, its structure and length is also ever changing. Though generally each article is kept under 900 words, when a sizeable story breaks, a paper will often headline it and use more than a few pages just to cover that one story. In this type of situation the paper’s newsstand sales often doubles or even triples in profit, as a result of the public’s scramble to learn more of the most current breaking news. Big newspapers have a very extensive structure, the front page is often about some major national news and the following pages are usually filled with smaller special interest stories. Take the front page of the L.A. Times for example, there are headings for politics, sports, and international news; each section appeals to a different kind of reader. This is done with the audience in mind; newspaper readers usually do not have as much free time as magazine readers, the newspaper articles are written to be to the point and disposable so that each reader may pick up a paper and find exactly what they are looking for. Now that both genres have been thoroughly interpreted and analyzed, it is imperative to understand the differences between the two types of papers. Word choice is evidently different between the two genres because magazines are meant for audiences who are on a break or planning to spend some leisurely time reading the articles for pleasure. While newspapers are daily sources of important news that many members of society read in order to be well informed. Magazine articles usually contain simple and technical language, while newspaper will often contain more sophisticated language as newspaper articles are meant to express delicate opinions on complicated and widespread issues. Another major difference between newspaper articles and magazine articles is the location or situation in which the writers are performing under. Magazine articles target a general audience and can literally be about anything as long as the articles are entertaining enough to keep readers on subscriptions. While newspaper writers already have an established customer base, they aren’t trying to attract a new audience; rather they try their best to improve their articles to keep their audience and stand out from the other newspapers. The convention location also applies to the frequency of which each type of article is distributed. Magazines are distributed either monthly or weekly, whereas most newspapers are printed daily, having to research and write eloquent articles daily makes the newspaper industry much more competitive and serious compared to the magazine business. Magazine and newspaper articles are structured differently from start to finish. Magazines for the most part are very glossy and colorful with high impact visuals and advertisements all over the place. Newspapers on the other hand are less colorful and filled with both lengthy and brief articles; pictures or graphs accompany some articles, however major newspapers generally do not have many advertisements. The reason for this can be traced back to the purpose of the genre, since newspaper writers are usually very opinionated and want to analyze current events and issues without limitations given by the advertisers. Our minds just naturally attach and group objects and associations together. Advertisement companies take advantage of this association and since they are major sources of funding for magazine companies, writers are inclined to listen to the guidelines given by the advertisement companies. Newspaper and magazine articles are both meant to inform their audiences, but they do so in varying ways with distinct content. Stylistic similarities exist between these two genres, but it is more beneficial to the audience to understand the differences between the genres because then they will understand the purpose of each choice the writer makes. Both genres strive to grab the audience’s attention, magazines employ the use of colorful headlines and capitalized letters, while newspapers are more to the point and depend on their readers to be interested in the articles they write about global and domestic issues. The audience of the two genres are also very different people, the magazine reader prefers writers that think like he does, while the newspaper reader needs to hear about what’s going on in the world, or in his community and he doesn’t expect to agree with everything he reads. The two genres contrast the most in their word choice, location, and overall structure.

This is a good start. See some of my specific comments above. In my view, the trouble here is that you’re trying to write this essay from the top down, focusing on abstractions (a very general understanding of your genres) first and then struggling to find some way to make your sources fit the concepts. I only seen two specific texts referred to here — one from each genre — in the absence of a works cited page, I can only assume that half the required sourced are basically missing. I think you might have a much easier time if you started with the sources (2 magazine articles… and you’ll have to settle on one type of magazine, and 2 news articles) and then actually did the work required by PB(a) and PB(b) in terms of making observations about what’s going on in these examples. The sources come first. The theory develops from the sources. D, for now.

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