The first difference I noticed between these two articles was how the two were organized. Article #1 is introduced by a brief explanation of how important water is and how we should learn the facts to follow regarding water and its uses. The article then moves into many small paragraphs broken down by subheading, all with individual titles and subsequent info. There is also a colorful picture of a smiling woman drinking from an Evian bottle and many colorful headings. The information, despite being broken down by subheading, is presented in a sporadic manner with no clear direction. This is because the reader of the article isn't looking for direction. The article is presented in a lighthearted way with no serious intent. The contents, although important to some, may seem trivial to most. On the other hand, Article #2 seems more like a professional piece of writing. The top of the page gives a short biography of both the author of the book being reviewed and the author of the review. The layout is much more technical with the exact volume and date of article publication. Obviously, this piece of writing is for a reader who is interested in searching for this information and who is also in the field. Article #1, however, is presented more to a general reader who might pick up the publication in an airport or hospital gift shop to kill time or enjoy some light reading. The information in the Article #2 itself is presented in an organized, flowing manner beginning with a general overview of the book being reviewed. The author then moves into analyzing specific details of the book and then proceeds to conclude with his final opinion of the book. The overall organization of this article is much more structured and geared toward a serious audience. In using the word serious, I mean that the reader is geared toward a certain area of study, as opposed to a reader looking to gain some trivial information about random subjects. Article #1 is more light-hearted and has more loosely structured information, geared toward the sort of audience looking more for trivial information. Another area of difference is the contrasting tones and styles of the articles. Article #1 presents a light tone with an up-beat style. The information, although important, is highlighted by a picture and colors and, therefore, isn't presented in a serious manner. There is a laid-back air about it, which lends to the style of the presentation. Article #2, however, has a more serious tone. The style is a basic formal layout of straight columns and organized paragraphs packed with straightforward information. There are no pictures, no colors, simply important information for the serious, academic reader, the reader who is looking solely for information, not a fancy layout.
Continuing on with more differences, there is another discrepancy in how the authors back their claims. The author of Article #1 backs none of her claims with solid sources. In one case, she expects the reader to rely on her friend Ariel, who has a vacation house in Cape Cod, for information about a Leukemia-causing chemical found in the city's water system. Now, I don't know how gullible most people are, but I like to have a more reliable source than a friend of a friend to judge something as important as the safety of drinking water in an area. Other than that source, no other references are made regarding where the supplied information came from. Article #2 , which is mostly a review of a book, uses opinions of the author for the most part. The author does make references to Freud in order to back claims made in the book, though. Obviously Article#1 doesn't make it a top priority to back the many claims presented in the article. Both the author and the magazine apparently don't feel its readers need proof, which is probably the case. Article #2, however, is a more serious article geared toward an audience trained to be skeptical of information. Therefore, the author backs his claims with proof. The author of the review also backs the author of the book's claims with proof, which again stresses the importance of proof to both the writer and reader.
In order to have a clear understanding of an article, sometimes the reader has to first understand the assumptions being made by the author about the knowledge of him or herself. In article #1, the only assumption made is that the reader is supposed to know that we are all supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day. Basically anyone is capable of reading and understanding this article if you have an elementary level of reading capability. The author in Article #2 makes many more assumptions of the reader. One is that he expects the reader to have a grasp on the vocabulary used in the Psychology field. He also expects some basic knowledge of Freud in terms of his studies on parental abuse. A beginning grasp on Christianity and Judaism is also required in order to fully understand the text. I concluded from these findings, that an article written for an academic audience requires knowledge in that specific field as opposed to that which is written for a general audience requires no such knowledge.
In conclusion, articles written for an academic audience are very different from those written for a general audience. These differences include organization, style and tone, how authors back their claims and the assumptions made by the author about the reader. If you are a reader looking for information on a certain topic in your field, you are going to generally go to an academic journal of some sort to get this information. The authors of these journals know that the people reading their works are looking for certain criteria in these works. That criteria might include specific information, more specific than can be found in a general information magazine geared toward a general audience. Articles geared toward a general audience are less specific about details and proving that the presented information is true. Those in academia can't take the chance, in most cases, on whether the facts are true or not. Therefore these journals need to be very specific, more so than general audience magazines.
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