Georgia Tech vs. Popular Science

By transforming a work’s rhetorical situation, many things can change. By just catering to something as simple as a new audience, the transformed work can be utterly different- even if the actual wording and information of the original piece does not change. Authors have figured out a way to manipulate other people’s writings in such a way that it can be used to benefit their own rhetorical situation (that is more than likely very different from the original author’s).

For example, let’s take into consideration two articles about robotics replicating the movement of the first land animals. The first one, “Robot Replicates How Our Ancestors First Walked on Land,” was written by the website Popular Science. The purpose behind this article was to give the readers something short, sweet, and just plain cute (“Muddybot” is everyone’s favorite robot now). The article is made to link its readers to other articles from Popular Science and advertisements on/ALL OVER the page. The other article, however, is very different. Georgia Tech has the article “Robot Helps Study How First Animals Moved 360 Million Years Ago.” This article produces the information that is the basis of the Popular Science article, but in a very, very different way. Because Georgia Tech actually conducted the “Muddybot” experiment, the information is presented very differently. The Tech article uses much more technical words and goes into the entire process of making the robot, testing it, and ultimately producing the final product. Compared to the nineteen paragraph Georgia Tech article, the Popular Science article only contains five (again, short and sweet). Though the information in both the articles is the same, the two vary greatly. The difference comes from the rhetorical agenda of the author’s of the two works. Popular Science’s article was very simple and to the point because its targeted audience is the “average joe,” who is bored and surfing the internet. However, Georgia Tech’s audience is composed of those who enjoy the complex research and discoveries of the school. Therefore, it makes sense how the details of one are much greater than the other.

By simply having varying target audiences, two articles about the same topic can be greatly different. Georgia Tech’s large, scholarly article is worlds away from the Popular Science article. Though the information remains the same, it is written based on the audiences. Therefore, the two articles vary such that there would be no way that people could think that they would ever correlate. This goes to show that no matter if two authors use the same information, it is all up to the writer’s intended audience and rhetorical situation as to how the work will turn out.


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