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Perspective Analysis Essay

It is important for writers to keep the audience engaged and captivated not only
through the contents of their work, but also their technique. Since, this is an essential
part of writing, the authors use specific rhetorical devices, based on their own style of
writing, to appeal to target audiences. For instance, two articles were written on the
same topic of parental favoritism, but only one of them is considered popular and the
other academic. While the popular article, "As You Suspected, Your Parents Absolutely
Do Have a Favorite Child" by Tanya Basu and the academic article, "Reciprocal Links
Among Differential Parenting, Perceived Partiality, and Self-Worth: A Three-Wave
Longitudinal Study" by Katherine J. Conger, as mentioned, did not differ in content, they
were still distinguished by the use of rhetorical devices leading to individual and discrete
organization and diction.
Academic articles typically follow a set structure and this academic article is no
exception. The main claims were found in the end of the article, We found that later
born adolescents perception that parents favored an older brother or sister predicted a
decrease in self-worth consistently across all three time points Cogner (2005). The
main claim is found at the end because, during the entire article the author is explaining
the studies and the data retrieved from the experiments. In the end she uses all the data
gathered to form the main claim. Academic articles also provide diagrams, models, and
charts for their audience, so that they are better able to comprehend the information
they are given. These articles, especially ones that include research, are packed with
numbers and data that can be missed by the reader due to their abundance. Therefore,
one type of useful visual is a data table, which is the perfect way to display numbers in
an organized fashion so that the reader can clearly see and understand their
importance. In the academic article, "Reciprocal Links Among Differential Parenting,
Perceived Partiality,and Self-Worth: A Three-Wave Longitudinal Study" by Katherine J.
Conger, multiple charts, models and graphs are presented. By the inclusion of these
visuals, the reader is provided with a data table that can ultimately help the reader
understand the research. Figure 2 in this article is a model showing the " Associations
across time between fathers and mothers differential treatment, earlier born siblings
perception of partiality (later born siblings perception in parentheses), and earlier born
siblings (later born siblings) self-worth provided as standardized path coefficients;
correlated errors among latent constructs are not shown. *t 2.00;t 1.82; N 38 "
Cogner (2005). This model helped the readers conceptualize the links and understand
the underlying methods that were used to configure the results. Conversely, in a popular
article this type of visual would not be needed considering that readers would prefer to
be told the results without the background data that proves the result.

Popular articles as well, usually follow a particular structure. In the beginning

Basu, the author of the popular article, provides some background on the matter,
"Theres always the family favorite. Your little sister got away with temper tantrums
suspiciously often, or your older brother somehow snagged all the trophies while you
slaved away in an attempt to shine. At least thats what it kind of felt like, even though
your parents repeatedly insisted they loved you and your siblings all equally" Basu
(2016). Through this she presents the parental favoritism problem, just as other popular
articles typically would do. In the end she writes, "every child had a sneaking suspicion
their parents were favoring the others" Basu (2016), which addresses the problem and
comes up with a conclusion. She gives the end results without actually stating the
reasoning behind it. Hyland wrote on the organization of popular articles and he
mentioned a specific structure of how most popular articles are organized., ... found
that journalistic accounts typically open with a background move which contextualizes
the research issue as a problem for readers and then follows this with the main
outcome Hyland (2009). Unlike academic articles, popular ones are lacking in the
amount of visuals that help explain data. Instead these articles use images and visuals
that dont pertain to data. While, the academic article, mentioned previously, heavily
relied on visuals such as data tables and models to prove to the reader the results of
the study, the popular article just presented and discussed the experience of a group of
children that were siblings. There is no need for popular articles to provide charts and
tables, because the people who will be reading these types of articles will not have an
interest in them. In fact, the addition of data tables and modes might cause the reader to
lose interest in the article. The organization of this article follows Hyland's description of
the how most popular articles are structured.

In addition to organization, there is difference in diction within the articles. In

academic articles, the diction is typically more professional and scientific considering
that the audience is expected to have background knowledge on the topic at hand.
Academic articles are more likely to use words that are less understandable to the
general public because the target audiences are people who are interested and
knowledgeable in the particular subject. In this academic article on the psychology of
parental favoritism Katherine J. Conger writes, "The differences in the patterns of
longitudinal associations between later born and earlier born siblings are noticeable;
only earlier born siblings appear to be sensitive to parental differential treatment,
whereas self-worth of later born but not earlier born siblings has the predicted effect on
perception of partiality" Cogner (2005). Most people would not know what a longitudinal
association is nor would they be interested in finding out. People who would not be able
to understand the writing of an article would not be compelled to read it. Since the
audiences of this article are evidently people who are engrossed in the psychology field,
it is very likely that they are interested in psychological studies and articles. This allows
the writer to use a vocabulary that the average person would not know. To keep the
article professional and informational, the author doesn't address the reader and keeps

the topic strictly about the study and the results gained from the research that was
On the other hand, authors of popular articles assume that the reader is not well
informed and inexperienced on the subject they are writing on. In addition, the audience
of a popular article is not expected to know all the scholarly vocabulary that readers of
academic articles are expected to know. Subsequently, the diction is kept simple and
writers of popular articles use easy to understand words regarding the topic at hand. For
instance, when summing up her argument Basu writes, " ... no matter if you were the
oldest, youngest, or somewhere in between, every child had a sneaking suspicion their
parents were favoring the others" Basu (2016). This ending argument is a clear and
straightforward summary that most readers will not only be able to understand, but also
relate to. Basus article is catered to suite all audiences, not just those well versed in
psychology and psychological effects. It is simple and straightforward, which is a quality
that is prevalent in popular articles due to the presumption that the reader is not
supposed to have any background information on the subject matter.
Popular and academic articles surrounding the same topic have the same
argument, however, since the target audience is varied the way the articles are
executed and presented are also different from one another. Authors use rhetorical
devices such as organization, diction, and argument structure to appeal to the varying
audiences. Both the articles that were discussed in this essay provide information on
parental favoritism toward their children, nonetheless, the presentation of the two were
nothing alike. It seems as though the popular article is a simple summary of the
academic one and may be more beneficial to read. Though, sometime as readers its
important to head straight to the source, look at all the data, and make judgments based
on that information alone.
Works Cited
Basu, Tanya. "As You Suspected, Your Parents Absolutely Do Have a Favorite Child."
Science of US. N.p., 31 Mar. 2016. Web.
Shebloski, Barbra, Katherine J. Cogner, and Keith F. Widaman. "Reciprocal Links
among Differential Parenting, Perceived Partiality, and Self-worth: A Three-wave
Longitudinal Study." ResearchGate. Journal of Family Psychology, 2005.
Hyland, Ken, Constructing proximity: Relating to readers in popular and professional
science, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 2010