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ANIMAL PRACTICES IN CIRCUSES

Genre Analysis
Alexa Moreno
The University of Texas at El Paso

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ANIMAL PRACTICES IN CIRCUSES
Abstract
This paper analyzes two types of genres, a video and an article. It focuses on the
genres’ audience and responsibility to them, the rhetorical issues by the genres, their

structure, and the style and language they use to appeal to each audience. The paper takes
a deep look on how these genres follow their norms and uses these writing elements. The
paper also gives some examples of how there genres use rhetorical and other writing
elements to appeal to the audience and how sometimes these elements overlap each other
in the way that one thing in the genre can serve the purpose of two elements. These
genres serve different purposes and are sometimes limited by their norms, but each of
them has their strengths in expressing certain elements in writing. Analyzing the genres
can give you an insight on how they work and why they are used in the different
discourse communities they are used.
Genre Analysis: Animal Practices in Circuses
Different genres serve different purposes and can facilitate and strengthen
communication in different discourse communities. Either in movies or in real life,
circuses have always amused audiences for decades now, but many of the spectators are
not aware of the reality behind curtains. Circuses started in 1793 with only a few acts,
which included acrobats, dancers, and magicians. As time has passed circuses have
become bigger thanks to the increasing amounts of people attending these shows. Animal
abuse in circuses has grown to become a big problem not only here in the United States,
but all over the world. Animals have been used in circuses for generations, and many
training circus animals are often mistreated to make it look okay, when in reality it’s
because they have been conditioned to do so as the trainer commands a form of abuse to

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the animal. The issue is being analyzed with and iconographic, and typographic genres
that each pertain to explain the reality behind this shows and promote de use of circuses
without animals. The Humane Society of the United States with The Cost of Animal Care
Laws (iconographic) explains about how citizens here in the United States can help cost
the needs for animals here in our country. It uses information of states laws to help
emphasize on the importance on animal care laws and methods to help animals in our
country (Society 2012). In the other hand the article, Animal Cruelty at Circuses by Last
Chance for Animals, uses its own genre norms to advocate, inform, and publish animal
cruelty research and also bring together a community of citizens, and circus owners.
These genres use their norms to communicate to its particular audience in a particular
style, language, structure, and using rhetorical devices to better serve the discourse
community they are addressing.
Audience and Purpose
The video is intended to communicate to a citizen community, to inform about
animal care laws and ways people can help. The article can also be read by anyone with
access to it. The audience most likely getting access to the article would be people
interested in animal abuse in circuses and animal defenders that promote animal welfare
and protection. The article states that ‘’the only reason circus animals perform is because
they are scared of what will happen to them if they don’t. (LCA).’’ It does just that, serve
as an informative reference to animal defenders, veterinarian, and circus owners that want
to know about animal practices and it provides them with a well informative article.
In the other hand, the video provides information about animal care laws for the
general public, for anyone who has access to the Internet and wants to look into animal

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care laws in the country. The video is eye appealing so it will attract people; citizens and
animal owners interested on watching about animal care laws. As the video states
‘’animal care, laws, and protection is something we all are committed, because we care
(HMS 2012). The video also attracts citizens by providing general education about these
laws that many people don’t know they exist in our country.
Rhetorical Issues
The first genre that is going to be analyzed is the iconographic; by The Humane
Society of the United States. The video was made through an ethos kind of style, that is
simple but yet very important. The background of the video is blue which allows catching
the viewer’s attention through the entire video. Lighter colors such as blue, red, and green
tend to catch people’s eyes rather than dark colors. The puppy shown is a small and cute
pug, and with the puppy there is happy music playing along. At this point the viewer has
already and automatic feeling of cuteness and happiness by this puppy; however the
viewer has not yet been encouraged to watch the entire video. The first thing they can
also notice from the video is the use of big letters and fonts to emphasize on certain
topics from the Humane Society of the United States, a non-profit organization dedicated
to the support, welfare, and protection of animals around the United States. The
organization is not focusing in foretelling the story about a puppy, but is giving a good
sense of quality. In the video, HSUS uses simple vocabulary and catchy techniques to
create credibility with the audience. They say, ‘’by taking action everyone in the country
can help for poor animals suffering in shelters (HSUS 2013).’’ By talking about the ways
people can help the audience starts to question and challenge themselves on acting to stop
this. Another way it established credibility is by simple being a very popular webpage

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such as YouTube, where in order to get that many views, responds, and subscribes, the
video has to be credible, informative, and catchy in view. With this video is published,
the Humane Society is making sure that it’s good enough to make sure the video is
legitimate. The Humane Society also established credibility with his statistics and where
they base their statistics. They also appeal to the audience with a good presentation of
information through the entire video. The organization does not only present all
information at once or goes back and forth on different topics. It is simple, yet organized
in a coherent many and develops and introduces each subject in a clear way to maintain
the attention of the audience. For instance, they use catchy phrases as ‘’help rescue
animals, and prosecute their abusers holding them responsible to the cost of care
expenses (HSUS 2015.) What the video is missing is a little bit of more statistics, and
examples of rescued animals and the effects of this. The purpose of this is to inform and
persuade citizens in the United States to make the right choices by acting responsibly.
The video wants the audience to get rescued, and prosecute their abusers; making them
responsible for the cost of care expenses so that burden doesn’t affect taxpayers. The
video states that ‘’as part of having animals in our lives love, wellness, and vet care are
requirements that we all are committed to, because we care (HSOTUS).’’ It does just that,
serve as an informative quote to citizens, and pet owners that want to know about animal
care laws and it provides them with further information.
The second piece analyzed is the article by LCA a non-profit organization
dedicated to animal rights, and rescuing animals here in the United States. The article
appeals to the audience’s emotions, reason, morals, and creates impact in a wide variety
of ways and even sues one specific thing to appeal to the audience in several ways. The

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article has dark colors that most likely don’t have that much impact in the audience. The
website appeals to the intellectual by organizing the website and the article in an efficient
way in order to read through the website very easily. The website includes factual data
and statistics through the posting of research articles, and news about animals being
abuses in circuses. The article includes a section where it posts images and has links to
other articles about animals abused in several circuses around the world. On the
homepage where the article is located they have several options of high-resolution
images, and videos about animal abuse. It grabs the attention of the audience and gets
them concerned about this problem in the world. In another section of the article it covers
other things that come within animal abuse such as; ongoing confinement, abnormal
behavior, and public safety. The article also uses all the things it used to appeal to the
audiences’ emotions and reason to create and atmosphere of concern with them. By
showing videos and images, it supports the website’s purpose and goal and established
credibility through both the importance of the article, and the facts. The article uses its
own research and facts done by its members. The article is not filled with a lot of
professional points of view done by members of the organization.
Both genre’s purpose is to inform their viewers, and readers of this specific
subject such as animal abuse, however they both represent and transmit the message in
different ways. The video clip is done with the purpose of catching the viewer’s eyes and
minds. The vocabulary and language for the article it’s professional, because the fact that
it talks about deaths, abuse, and diseases the correct vocabulary addressed would have to
be a professional and most of all credible for the audience. Something that strongly
supports the article it’s the fact that it contains graphic images about animal cruelty,

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maybe it is a little too graphic for some viewers, but it’s effective to target certain
emotions in the readers..
Structure and Delivery
The video sticks to its genre norms by being, informal, and straight to the topic. It
has a title that clearly describes it at the very beginning, and the is it followed by accurate
information. In the introduction it presents the topic and the goal of the video. The video
is then really informative and the audience is told by the bold headings about each
consequence. It is very efficient since the audience can look more on this specific subject
they are interested about this topic. They make the flow of the video easy and it makes
the transition smoother. There are not many examples of animal abuse or the
consequences, but there are enough statistics to support the video. The article is written in
a efficient way. Such that it’s telling the reader why this topic is important. In terms of
design the article is simple, yet it has some supportive details such as, bold letters for
headers, and videos scattered around the page. It’s not in question and answer form, but
rather just informative. Each different header in the article is really well explained, and
the reader is able to tell when a different subject is being introduced. The article contains
earth colors, such as green, white, and different shades of brown. Complementary colors,
different fonts, and most important images are scattered, but well placed in the entire
article to make it that way more effective.
The animal abuse in circuses, having a lot of information to offer, organizes it in a
very efficient and appealing matter to its audience. The website uses all of its genre’s
norms as well in a way that helps it and works at presenting its information in the best
way. In the homepage of the website were the article is located it has a very easy way to

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navigate and categorizes all of its information so that anything that needs to be found can
be found very fast. The headings are separated in the article and give all the information
about in an easy, organized fast way. It is very convenient for the audience and the
website uses this norm in an efficient and productive way.

References
Tester, K. (1991). Animal Rights; Rights; Animal Welfare Retrieved from
http://hdl.handle.net/10856709/8654
Oxford, England: Criterion Books, Inc. Studies of the psychology and behavior of captive
animals in zoos and circuses (1955) vii 166 pp.
Worthington, M. (1990) Animals in circuses and zoos: Chiron’s world.
Animal Welfare in Circuses [Motion picture]. (2013).United States.