Comparison/Contrast Analysis of Two Articles

Comparison/Contrast Analysis of Two Articles
In class, we will explore the differences among popular, trade/professional, and
scholarly publications, in part using the library’s Popular/Scholarly Tutorial. Then
we will look at three different articles on the same topic, each from a different kind of
publication. We will discuss the target audience of each magazine and the various
techniques used in each article to make it persuasive and/or informative.
Issues we will discuss:
a. What publication was the article first published in?
b. When was the article published?
c. Who reads that publication (or read it at the time of publication, in case the
publication’s main audience has changed)?
d. What appears to characterize those readers? Are they well educated? Educated in
a particular field or fields? Do they possess a certain type of knowledge? Do
they fall into a particular age group, gender, or ethnic group? Do they have
certain concerns? Will they expect the article to be in a particular format or use
certain strategies?
 To answer these questions, try two different sources: one is the article itself—
you can infer a number of things about the intended audience just by looking
at the strategies used; the other is the publication (journal, trade/professional
magazine, popular magazine, etc.)—what do other articles published there
look like? (You will make educated guesses based on the content in the
article and publication.)
e. What does the author seem to want to accomplish by writing this article? Does
he/she want the audience to take certain actions? Change their beliefs?
Investigate the matter further?
After our class discussion, we will work with various search strategies for locating
resources in the library and online. Then you will each find and print two articles on
the subject of your choice from two different kinds of publication.
Following the search activities, you will write a brief report (about 1½ single-spaced
pages, using section headings – see below) that compares and contrasts the two
articles you have chosen. Your goal is to show the similarities and differences
between the articles, and how those similarities and differences are the results of
the unique relationships among the articles’ purposes, audiences, and contexts
(in other words, how their rhetorical situations have affected how they were
composed and presented). These are the topics you will focus on in your report:
Introduction – introduce the focus of the overall comparison you will be
exploring between the articles.
Target audience of each article/essay (How do you know who the audience
is? What are their needs and expectations?)
Context (when and where written, by whom – what affect does all this have
on how the article is composed, presented and focused?)
Style (language choice, sentence structure, level of formality, etc.) (ditto
questions for context)
Layout design (text layout, font style, use of images, etc.) (ditto question for
Conclusion – do not just summarize what you’ve already said – develop the
implications of what you’ve found (answer the question “so what?”)
The rough draft is due in class on Wednesday, 2/8, and is required.
The final draft is due in the D2L Dropbox on Wednesday, 2/15, by class time, and is
worth 10 points.