You are on page 1of 9


Stem Cell Research: Genre Analysis of a Scholarly Article and a Political Cartoon Sandra Sanchez University of Texas at El Paso September 29, 2013

GENRE ANALYSIS 2 GENRE ANALYSIS OF A SCHOLARLY ARTICLE AND A POLITICAL CARTOON Stem cells are cells in the human body that have the capability of becoming any type of cell that the body might need. Many doctors and scientist have begun to research these stem cells to see if there is a possibility to find a cure to fatal diseases such as cancer or Alzheimers. Researchers extract the stem cell from embryos. Scientists have found a way to make embryos on a petri dish by fertilizing an egg with sperm. Yet after being able to use petri dish embryos the researchers extract the stem cells from embryos from the mothers womb leading to the death of the embryo putting the mother in medical risk. After a decade of research doctors and scientist have not found a cure for anything. Does using embryo stem cells or research humane and ethical? Through the use of genres we will analyze this question that arises. A genre is a category of art or work that has a specific audience and purpose. The two following genres will be analyzed: Egg harvesting for stem cell research: medical risks and ethical problems a scholarly article written by Dr. Diane Beeson and Dr. Abby Lippman which can be found on the University EBSCO website. The second genre is a cartoon Back to the Future IV by artist Sam Ryskind. The scholarly article informs the audience about the medical risks as well as the ethical side of embryonic stem cell research. The political cartoon presents a cartoon between Dr. Doc and Marty from the famous trilogy Back to the Future and the conversation that happens between them. We will analyze the style, structure, language, and rhetorical issue such as ethos, pathos, and logos to determine which of the genres is most effective in helping the audience understand the effects on the embryos. Purpose and Audience The scholarly articles, Egg harvesting for stem cell research: medical risks and ethical

GENRE ANALYSIS 3 GENRE ANALYSIS OF A SCHOLARLY ARTICLE AND A POLITICAL CARTOON problem, main purpose is to educate and inform college students in the medical field, professor who teach biology, anatomy, or chemistry, medical doctors, and other scholars about the medical risk and ethical problems behind using embryos for stem cell research. The title of the scholarly article implements the purpose. The article states that mothers are becoming pregnant for the purpose of selling the embryo to a research lab. This not only affects the mother but also kills the embryo. The audience in this article should already have previous knowledge about what stem cell research is, what it is being researched for, and how it is being researched. They want to know what the risk and the problems of the methods the researchers are using to gain these stem cells are. The language that Dr. Beeson and Dr. Lippman use is formal and it reflects the maturity of the article and the high amount of knowledge required to understand thoroughly the authors writings. For example, Given that clomiphene was first approved for clinical use in 1967 and gonadotrophins in 1969, the women who first used these drugs during their late 20s and early 30s have only recently reached the age when hormonally related cancers are common. (3,Beeson & Lippman, 2006). In this excerpt it is seen that the scholarly articles language is mature and formal. Words like: clonal embryo, embryo, nontherapeutic, and fertile field are examples of the specialized vocabulary. The specialized vocabulary and language is appropriate to the audience Dr. Beeson and Dr. Lippman are referring to. This eight page scholarly includes statistics to help the audience understand more. For example, The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) acknowledges that mild forms of OHSS occur in 1020% of cycles.. (5,Beeson & Lippman, 2006). The audience will spend around 15-20 minutes to read the article and may have to reread to fully understand the information. The article is organized in

GENRE ANALYSIS 4 GENRE ANALYSIS OF A SCHOLARLY ARTICLE AND A POLITICAL CARTOON subtopics that help to access specific content. The mature language and medical vocabulary the authors use reflect the intended audience and the purpose of informing. The political cartoon, Back to the Future IV, is intended for new entering college students, medical school students, high school students, politicians who are in the medical field or are for stem cell research, and activist who are seeking to know why the methods that stem cell researchers use are wrong. The cartoon is accessible to a wider audience. The type of audience is reflected by the vocabulary and image that is shown. The audience should already know what stem cell research is and what the purpose behind the research is. The purpose of the political cartoon is to persuade the audience that stem cell research is wrong through sarcastic humor. The political cartoon is of Doc and Marty from the Back to the Future trilogy movies having a conversation as Doc is looking and human embryos. The fact that Sam Ryskind uses popular characters and a famous trilogy reflects that the minimal vocabulary used is informal and more of a dialogue between Doc and Marty. Sure thing Marty, I just hope were not destroying anyone important. This dialogue demonstrates the sarcastic language Ryskind uses to persuade his audience. The language and the vocabulary are suitable for the audience that he is persuading. The audience will take five minutes to analyze the political cartoon and understand it. The image is in black and white and the two containers catch the audience attention because Doc is inspecting them with an evil grin. The two containers read, Human Embryo, Doe, John and Human Embryo, Fox, Michael J. The artist placed Michael J. Foxs name on the containers to express sarcasm toward him because of the fact the Michael Fox believes it is right to kill embryos for research. The details that Ryskind uses in his political cartoon attract a wide variety of an audience and make the

GENRE ANALYSIS 5 GENRE ANALYSIS OF A SCHOLARLY ARTICLE AND A POLITICAL CARTOON purpose apparent. The scholarly articles language and vocabulary demand the audience to be of higher education and have background knowledge that the political cartoon requires. The language and vocabulary for the scholarly article is advanced and contains medical terms on contrast the political cartoon contains informal vocabulary and the language is sarcastic. The political cartoon was designed to persuade the audience, as the scholarly article is to inform the audience. Both of these genres connect their audience with their language and vocabulary. Rhetorical Issues: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos The author of the scholarly article, Egg harvesting for stem cell research: medical risks and ethical problem, establishes credibility in the article through a short introduction about their education and experience in the research field. The introduction also includes Dr.Beesons previous writings as well as her email address. The article is evoking the audience to be aware about the situation that the embryos and mothers are facing through this stem cell research. The authors use strong diseases that occur due to the processes researcher take to evoke this emotion such as, Nevertheless, many clinical reports associate infertility treatment with ovarian cancer, and two major studies suggest a link between ovarian cancer and ovarian stimulation. (2,Beeson & Lippman, 2006). When the audience faces the reality of the dangers and the risk that may occur the audience becomes aware of the problem. Much of the information given in the article is supported by facts and statistics that are connected with other reliable researchers. Another way that the scholarly article provides validity is that it is located in a University library and EBSCO, an online research database. At the end of the article Dr. Beeson and

GENRE ANALYSIS 6 GENRE ANALYSIS OF A SCHOLARLY ARTICLE AND A POLITICAL CARTOON Dr. Lippman state the different references to which were used in the scholarly article. In Back to the Future IV Sam Ryskind does not generally establish credibility since it is a visual. This political cartoon is attempting to evoke the audience to be aware through the use of satire. Since Fox was the actor that appeared in Back to the Future trilogy it adds a bit of humor that Ryskind is making a political cartoon using the movie. The facial expressions Marty and Doc can symbolize a researcher and a patient who is for killing embryos for their self-gain. There is no written evidence used to help support the political cartoon because Sam Ryskind is not presenting new information but merely making satire of what is already know. The scholarly article contains statistics and reference to create credibility and validity while the political cartoon does not have evidence to support its claims. Sam Ryskinds is attempting to evoke the audience to feel aware through the use of satire. Dr. Beeson and Dr. Lippman are pursuing to evoke the audience to feel informed through the use of statistics and facts. Even though these two genres are attempting to evoke to different emotions both are trying to let the reader know that stem cell research is unethical. Structure and Delivery Dr. Beeson and Dr. Lippman organized the scholarly in subtopics, some of these subtopics include, Egg Harvesting and Risk to Women, Short Term Effects of Ovarian Stimulation, and Long Term Effect of Ovarian Stimulation (1,2,2, Dr. Diane Beeson). The use of subtopics makes it easy to read through and to find specific information. The use of an introduction and an abstract in the beginning is helpful to reader who does not know anything about stem cell research. The layout of the scholarly article is

GENRE ANALYSIS 7 GENRE ANALYSIS OF A SCHOLARLY ARTICLE AND A POLITICAL CARTOON professional. The font is black, font size 12, Times New Roman and the subtopic titles are in blue. The lay out of the article support the professional appearance the authors are attempting to use to deliver their information. The scholarly article is free to express what it is necessary because it is a scholarly article. The genre gives the author the freedom to deliver information physically. The only limitation that the scholarly article provides is opinions or false statistic that have not been proven. Dr. Beeson and Dr. Lippman have no limitation on the amount of information they could provide. Sam Ryskinds political cartoon is black and white, which makes the center of the cartoon the characters. The words in the dialogue are almost all in the same style except for words that Ryskinds emphasized on which were, destroy that embryo, not destroying anyone, and important. (Ryskind). The cartoon does have a physical limitation to the information that may be presented but it has freedom because the political cartoon is open to interpretation and to the message that the audience takes away from the cartoon. The cartoon is easy to comprehend and the characters facial expressions speak for themselves. The layout of the political cartoon supports the informal appearance Ryskind is using. The scholarly article free to express information while the political cartoon also has the freedom to express the information just in a different matter. While Dr.Beeson and Dr. Lippman use subtopics to make it easier to navigate, Ryskind uses emphasize on the black and white colors to focus on the actions occurring. Both of the genres layout are appropriate for there purpose. Conclusion Egg harvesting for stem cell research: medical risks and ethical problem, a

GENRE ANALYSIS 8 GENRE ANALYSIS OF A SCHOLARLY ARTICLE AND A POLITICAL CARTOON scholarly article written by Dr. Diane Beeson and Dr. Abby Lippman is more effective that the political cartoon, Back to the Future IV by artist Sam Ryskind. The scholarly article used formal language to present the limitless information. There was more evidence that the audience received to show credibility and validity. The layout that was used in the scholarly article was more effective to search for specific information. Even though the audience would take more time on the scholarly article they would receive more information that that of the political cartoon. The difference between a doctor and an artist presenting medical information makes the scholarly article more effective.


GENRE ANALYSIS 9 GENRE ANALYSIS OF A SCHOLARLY ARTICLE AND A POLITICAL CARTOON (n.d.). Retrieved from back-to-the-future/ Beeson, D., & Lippman, D. (2006). Egg harvesting for stem cell research: medical risks and ethical problem. (Doctoral dissertation), Available from EBSCO.