You are on page 1of 10


The Underestimated Danger of Droughts
Jared Hernandez
University of Texas at El Paso
Dr. Vierra
RWS 1302: Rhetoric and Composition 2


RWS 1302


There are many different genres each with its own characteristics. Understanding the
different genres can be a useful tool when it comes to do in research more efficiently. Two
different genres will be compare on what audience they appeal to, what was the purpose, how do
they use pathos, ethos, and logos, and what structure they use and how well they deliver a
message; This compilation was done in order to further understand how different genre work
differently and how a variety of genre gives you better information for your research or other

RWS 1302


As stated by the Merriam Webster dictionary, a genre is “a category of artistic, musical,
or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content.” In this case
informative genres will be exanimated. There are many different types of genres each with
different qualities that complement each other. In order to use genres efficiently, it is important to
understand the different genres and how they work. In order to further understand genres tow
different genres will be compare and contrast, they both share a common topic, that being the
effects of droughts and what are we do in about them. The first genre is PBS’s report” Two Texas
Towns Struggle for Water” (March 22, 2012), a news report by the PBS NewsHour. The PBS
NewsHour started in 1975 reporting news and it is known for its in-depth coverage of issues and
current events. The news report genre consists of a story follow with information and interviews,
and has audio and visual to send information quick and efficiently. The second genre will be
Representative Lamar Smith’s National Integrated Drought Information System Reauthorization
Act of 2013, a government document. Smith is a U.S. Representative from the Texas’s 21st
congressional district; he has also sponsored the Stop Online Piracy Act, and the Protecting
Children from Internet Pornographers Act. The government document genre is known for being
one of the most reliable genres in terms of accurate information as they only use reliable sources
of information themselves. Although both genres deliver a clear message, the government
document did a better job connecting to previous knowledge.
Audience and Purpose
It is important to have a well-defined audience and purpose in order to clearly understand
what genre that is best to use in order to deliver a message. The purpose of both genres was to
inform their audience about droughts; however, they have different subjects and audience.

RWS 1302


Because their audiences were really different, the genres had to deliver their message on different
When train to convey a message it is important to know who your audience is. Different
audiences require different criteria on the language used, format, and subject. If the criteria
audience is not taken in to consideration, the criteria might not be meet, this will cause the
message delivery to fail. It is also important to have a clear purpose because without there will be
no message to deliver. The purpose of PBS report was to inform viewers on the effects of a
drought that happened that year on many Texas towns, while the purpose of the government
report was to inform readers on what to do in case of a drought and what measures are being
implemented to improve drought detection. The intended audience for the PBS report are
common people that enjoy watching news for enjoyment and knowledge. Understanding the
genre they belong to, PBS kept the segment interesting and simple by using normal vocabulary
and visuals such as when they show an image of the drought out reservoir in order for it to be
easy to understand (1:20). The government report was the opposite as the target audience were
people interested on academic level info and most likely had a fair understanding of how the
government works and the subject of droughts. Because the audience of the government
document is not only smart but interested on the subject, it explained everything on finer detail
than the PBS report and without any distractions; an example of this will be the drought map, the
content of the map was explain but also why was it important, who did it and why (20).
Both genres are different in that the PBS report informs us about the effects of a droughts
that accrue in Texas, its audience is more casual a so it uses visuals and audio to entertain and
send simple and effective information. It will only take ten minutes to finish. The governmental
report genres is about what to do in case of a drought, the implemented measures that are being

RWS 1302


implemented to detect droughts, its audience are scholars and so academic English is use with no
distracting visual, all organize in a matter where you can easy find a specific part, and that will
take a lot of time depending on your reading speed and how many time you comeback to read
specific parts.
Both genres inform us about droughts, however they both have different subjects. The
PBS report informs us about a drought that happen on Texas on the year 2012 and its effect. It
also give us interview of the town’s people and their struggles they have to face. The
Government report inform us on great detail about what to do in case of a drought and all the
measure being implemented to detect and prevent droughts.
Rhetorical Issues
Using rhetorical elements efficiently is important in order to persuade audience to think
of the message as something meaningful. Both genres have rhetorical appeal however they
focused on different aspect of it. They both have strong logos, but are different in their ethos and
It is important to have strong ethos when delivering a message because without ethos
your message might get ignore. Ethos is “using the reputation, experience, and values of the
author or an expert to support claims” (Janice, 2014, 45).The PBS report has good ethos because
it has proved to be a reliable source over time. However, the governmental report has better ethos
because we are trained to trust the government, and unlike the PBS report, trusted scientific
sources are listed.

RWS 1302


The PBS report has good ethos, therefor the message was taking seriously and was not
ignore .The news report genre wins its ethos over time. Because PBS NewsHour has been doing
in-debt reports sense 1975, it has earn the trust of his viewers.
The governmental report had better ethos than the PBS report, the message was not only
taken seriously by the audience, but it the message was taken into consideration. The
governmental report genre, in the other hand, is one of the most reliable sources to use. The
government has a parental effect on us, we trusted because that is what we are supposed to do,
this gives a lot of ethos alone but it also used sources that gave more ethos. Unlike the PBS
report, the governmental document listed scientific sources that give a lot of ethos because
scientist never make conclusion out of believes, they test and prove their claims before they
publish them.
Pathos can be used to draw importance to a message without giving much information,
however on academic pathos are not need it as they are a distraction. Pathos is “using feelings,
desires, or fears to influence readers” (Janice, 2014, 45). Although both genres used pathos
efficiently, they used them on an opposite why. The PBS report relay strongly on pathos to
convey its message, by using images and interviews; While, the governmental document
purposely lack any pathos in order to be as professional as it can be.
The PBS report is incredible rich on pathos, this is important because the report did not
have much information to deliver the message but with pathos the short message was deliver.
The PBS report stated that back on 2012 Texas faced a historical drought that leave many towns
on drought conditions and others completely without water (4:10). Members of the community
worked together to build a pipeline but their efforts were not enough to recover. Water was so

RWS 1302


low, rice farmers were prohibited to use water for their plantations and only 50 gallons were a
loud per household. As stated by the USGS, drought Impact, droughts leave a long lasting effect.
Town in Texas will struggle for a long time even after the drought is long gone. This information
and the fact that interviews are shown showing the faces and sound of voices, give a feeling of
sadness, awareness, and empathy (4:15).
The government report lacks pathos, but was able to deliver its message without them
because pathos are not use on the government report genre, and the information given was
enough to convey importance to the message. The hearing, states that droughts damaging effects
have increase, they cannot be prevented by an individual so the government must take action
(Smith 3-4). Droughts have increased over the years, meaning our droughts detection and
prevention methods must evolve. A meeting was held in order to discuss how to improve
droughts detection and prevention. This is something we should worry about as the PBS report
“Jobs, land languish in California drought in race of water” (1:40) inform us that a drought can
affect even places that are not in drought as it hurts the economy. The importance of the topic
should be enough to create strong emotions however the nature of the genre make it emotionless,
the only emotions you will have are emotions that you have towards the subject of droughts.
Logos is similar to ethos as it help to deliver a message without it being ignore.
Logos is “appealing to readers’ common sense, beliefs, or values” (Janice, 2014, 45). The
government document provided better logos as it provided the sources, and has different sections
to present a different claim that follow a scholar format. The PBS report has really weak logos
provided primary sources but does not list any major sources, and only has one claim.

RWS 1302


The government report has strong logos, therefore the message was not ignore but given
a thoughtful analysis. The government report, due to the genre it belongs to, provides a list of
trusted it sources such as “Authorization: H.R. 2431 amends Section 4 of the 2006 NIDIS Act to
authorize appropriations for each of fiscal years 2014 through 2018.” (7). Providing sources is
one of the best ways to be trust worthy as it shows the research done and provides a way for the
audience to check were de information came from. The government report also presents all his
claims clearly on the first pages, the claims are presented on sections so you can easily find were
to go to find support to a certain claim. It also uses academic English, making the report looks
professional and trusted. All those tree things combined make the government report strong on
The PBS report has weak logos, just enough for the message to not be ignore but not
sufficient for it to be analyses. Although the PBS report gave primary sources with the interviews
(4:15), it lacked a list of source, academic English, and a clear structure of what the claims
follow by prof.
Structure and Delivery
In order to convey a message, a good structure and delivery are need it as they are the
bases and cannot be missing. Both the PBS report and the government report had a good delivery
and structure, however because of the nature of both genres, the govern report had better
structure and delivery.
The PBS report was structured in a way that was entertaining and followed a logical
sequence of some emotional interviews that were reinforce by factual evidence, excellently
delivering the short but important lesson of the damage droughts can cause (9:40).

RWS 1302


Although the PBS report had a good delivery and structure, the government report did it
better as the genre is self is better structure to be use for academic purposes, and the delivery is
better thought-out as it is not a simple one like the PBS report (1).
In order to delivering a message, the audience and purpose of the message needs to be
well-defined, an appropriated structure and delivery are need it and ethos, pathos, and logos
should be use properly .Both genres are completely different, but this is helpful as they give us
completely different information that could not be given by the other one, but the governmental
report is an overall better genre for scholar purposes.
Both reports had well-defined audiences and purpose, however they different on the use
ethos, logos, pathos. The PBS report has an amazing use of pathos because of the sound, visual
and simple language use but lacked strong ethos and pathos. This source is really persuasive on
racing awareness about droughts and their consequences to its target audience, but lack what it
takes to be at an academic level. The governmental document lacks pathos, because pathos are
not need it on this type of genre, but is superior to the PBS report on ethos and logos. It is well
put together to deliver information and backing everything that is stated with reliable academic
and professional sources, overall do in better at delivering its message.

RWS 1302


SMITH of Texas, from Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. (2/6/14). National
integrated drought information system reuthorization act of 2013. ( No. 113-348).
Washington: House Of Representatives.
Two Texas towns struggle for water. Sreenivasan, H. and MacNeil/Lehrer Productions
(Directors). (2012).[Video/DVD] Arlington, VA: MacNeil-Lehrer Productions. Retrieved
from PortalPlaylists.aspx?xtid=58014&aid=12400
California Water Science Center. Impact of Droughts. Retrieve from
Janice, N. (2014). Rhetoric and Writing Studies in English Research and Critical Writing Course.
Orlando, FL: Personal Education Company Inc.