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Smartphones and Social Relationships: Genre Analysis of a Magazine Article and a Scholarly Article Zheila Cervantes University of Texas at El Paso


Genre Analysis on a Scholarly Article and Magazine Article: Smartphones and social Relationships

Throughout the years, different discourses have come to viewers and readers with plenty of information addressing current issues and new discoveries. However, it is how these genres deliver their message that really matters. The issue of smartphones is one that has become a topic of discussion in many fields such as business, education, health sectors, human psychology, and social life. The use of rhetoric appeals is a structure that can be presented through different genres and means of communication. Is Your Phone Killing your Relationships? a magazine article, by Allison Vesterfelt and Impact of Smartphones on Society, a scholarly article by Muhammad Sarwar and Tariq Rahim Soomro, are the two pieces that will be analyzed throughout this paper. Smartphones have been a great contribution to technology, impacting society and our culture in a progressive approach. However, it is how consumers use smartphones in a negative or positive way that has an impact on their lives. This is something that will be discussed in this paper throughout the use of two different genres and how these genres deliver their information. Audience and Purpose Both articles that were selected for this genre analysis have different audiences and use different approaches for capturing the readers attention. The purpose of Is Your Phone Killing your Relationships? is mainly to inform the audience of the issue pertaining to smartphones and relationships. It is also sending a message and persuading the public to make a change on cellphone usage in their daily lives. The intended audience is people who own and have access to a computer and smartphone, specifically to younger generations of people, like teenagers and young adults. The users will take approximately from eight to ten minutes reading the piece, but this article sends a good message considering the use of technological devices on a healthier side.


In the scholarly article, Impact of Smartphones on Society, Sarwars and Soomros purpose is to inform the reader of smartphones and how theyre going to transform the culture, social life, technology scene and other diverse aspects of modern society (Sarwar & Soomro,2013) . The authors want the audience to understand all the positive and negative aspects of cell phone usage in society, and to recommend solutions to the public in order to reduce the negative influences. The intentional audience for this scholarly article is people who have access to technology, specifically smartphones and computers. This piece is extensive because it provides a lot of information. It will take the reader about 30-40 minutes to actually understand and go through each section, considering it has about 18 segments. Rhetoric Appeals: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos In order for the readers to accept new information, it must certainly make sense and have valid ideas. In Is Your Killing Your Relationships? Vesterfelt establishes credibility by giving a short paragraph on her work experience. Although it is not broad and professional, the author includes some of her work as a writer and speaker. The article also has links to her personal website and Twitter which provide a bit more of information regarding her practice in the writing field. She uses a quote from an unknown source which gives a statistic on how many Americans use smartphones. However, no source is cited for this statistic. Overall Vesterfelt does a good job on the authority but still needs to provide more references and sources. Muhammad Sarwar and Tariq Rahim Soomro, the authors of the scholarly article, Impact of Smartphones on Society, are both professors in the Department of Information Technology in Al Ain University of Science and Technology in the United Arab Emirates. This journal is a viable source, which contains valid information, as it refers to previous works of different authors and researchers on the topic. At the bottom of the page they include a reference page


with all the effective sources used in the making of this article. This journal also contains in-text citations that you can refer at the reference page. Both works use pathos, although Vesterfelt seems to use more of an emotional appeal, by the use of wording and actual life stories. The magazine article has a solid opening in which the author begins with an anecdote of her own. She also gives examples on how smartphones have affected her social relationships in her marriage, social and work life. This isn't the first time we've had a discussion about the effects of smart phones on our relationship (Vesterfelt, 2013). This is a strong appeal to pathos because people may relate to her personal stories, making people feel comfortable and familiar with the topic of smartphones. At the end the article, Vesterfelt gives a solution, specifically addressing Christians. She states We have to use our common sense and hold our actions up to the question of whether or not we are loving God and others (Vesterfelt, 2013) This definitely makes the reader reflect on their values and morals. The use of strong words successfully appeal to the reader emotions. On the other hand, the academic journal Impact of Smartphones on Society has a less emotional approach since its main focus is to inform the reader of the positive and negative impacts of cell phone usage. It certainly points out some examples of how people relate to the impacts. The magazine article by Vesterfelt does not make a logos approach. Since the articles purpose is to persuade, the author does not state facts or credibility. Vesterfelt sides with a more opinion piece which projects her ideas and stories. However the scholarly article, Impacts of Smartphones on Society, states information and gives the facts to the audience directly. It includes a chart with information on cell phone usage, and backs up the evidence very good with references and credibility.


The structure and delivery of every source to their audience depends on the genre that will be used. To analyze how these sources deliver information, one must take a look at the target audiences and limitations that can come with each. The first genre, which is the magazine article by Vesterfelt uses the first person point of view throughout the paper, giving it a more casual tone while still keeping the audience entertained. Since this article was published in a magazine, it contains more opinions from the author as well as a persuasive tone, which is characterized by the use of strong wording. This article does not follow a certain order, but contains information and stories that will keep the reader going and finally get to understand the purpose of the paper. However the approach taken by Sarwar and Soomro is very different. Academic articles are usually presented to a professional audience who is seeking to become well informed about a certain topic. The article had few limitations as to the amount of information it has, but it can be too tedious for the reader to understand and sometimes repetitive in its message. This article has 18 long sections which describe the positive and negative impacts of smartphones in every aspect of society. The paper is well written with a professional tone, good organization throughout the paper, and a strong introduction and conclusion. Conclusion Genres are a powerful approach to broad audiences when used successful in their purposes. It is evident that each of the articles is stronger than the other in different aspects of persuasion, structure and delivery. Impact of Smartphones on Society might be an academic article, although not very appealing to all audiences. On the other hand, Is your Phone Killing your Relationships?, might address a small group of individuals, but it surely reports the issue


with strong use of rhetoric and delivery. However, the scholarly article was the superior one in how it delivered its message, which was to inform the audience. The appeal to logos was much stronger and the credibility of the authors more professional.

SMARTPHONES AND SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS References Sarwar, M. (2013). Impact of Smartphones on Society . European Journal of Scientific Research, 98. Retrieved February 15, 2014, from http://www.europeanjournalofscientificresearch.com Vesterfelt, A. (2013, February 28). Subscribe Now for Instant Access & get exclusive downloads. RELEVANT Magazine. Retrieved February 22, 2014, from http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/whole-life/device-may-be-killing-yourrelationships