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...

Cited: Alkon, Amy. Editorial. Psychology Today 1 Nov. 2010. Web. 6 May 2011. .
Jæger, Mads Meier. "A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever"? Returns to Physical Attractiveness over the Life Course." Social Forces 89.3 (2011): 983-1003. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 3 May 2011.

Reflection
After having my paper reviewed, I felt confident that I was up to a great start, on this assignment. Since the peer-review session in class I took my paper home and took a closer look at it. I didn’t really need to change much to my paper according to my partner, except that on some paragraphs I need to expand more on my arguments. So what I did was re-read my paper and added more examples or details. For me one of the hardest parts of this assignment was providing similarities for both articles. With the help of my partner I worked through this a little because she gave me ideas about similarities that I hadn’t noticed. So I then tried to incorporate those ideas. Another thing I did was look closer at the grammar and language used in the paper. I then rephrased any awkward sentences. One thing I struggled on was the conclusion. In class my partner told me to try to be more specific in the conclusion. But I found this hard to do. I wasn’t sure how I could incorporate my topic into the conclusion because the purpose of the article was analyzing the genre not the content. So I felt that by adding information about the articles I would be focusing more on the content and I dint know how to do it in terms of genre. So I left the conclusion as is. Overall I disliked this assignment due to the labor of writing involved. In the first paper we got a chance to tell our story and for me that was easy, but for this assignment we had to do work that was less literal and more thought provoking.

isplays his arguments with more credibility because it shows that his arguments were thought out carefully using research. In The Truth About Beauty there isn’t much structure. The article is jus written into short paragraphs, without sections. A second difference is that in The Truth About Beauty the sentences are shorter and so are the paragraphs. While in A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever the author uses longer sentences and paragraphs.
The style and language is also very different in both pieces. The language in A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever is very formal, while in The Truth About Beauty the language is less formal. Secondly in A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever the author uses vocabulary that is specific to research in psychology. These terms includes correlation, SES, and WLS, amongst others. While in The Truth About Beauty the language is simple enough that anyone can understand it. A final difference is that in The Truth About Beauty the author uses a lot of humor and sarcasm throughout the article. An example of this if found when the author said “Welcome to Uglytopia the world reimaged as a place where it’s the content of a women’s character, not her push up bra that puts her on the cover of Maxim” (Alkon). In magazine humor is very acceptable while in scholarly articles humor is barely used because it can take away from the seriousness of the piece.
Overall, the same information can be communicated in different genres, and communicate similar ideas but there is always going to be many differences amongst genres. In different genres there are norms that define each genre that must be somewhat followed by authors. There are also things that are considered acceptable in certain genres, and might not be acceptable in others.
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