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Shafi (Sam) Muneer

Professor Wilson
Portfolio (WP2)
Portfolio WP3
In many occasions throughout high school and now college, my
teachers have assigned me essay topics to research and then produce
analytical papers on. To write these amazing papers, I constantly find myself
utilizing resources, such as a library or the internet. Some material I find is,
at times, so in depth that I can barely understand the jargon that is casually
thrown around. Other materials are much simpler to comprehend. Academic
articles will almost always target one discourse community (usually one the
authors are already apart of), whereas nonacademic articles will be produced
for virtually anyone with interest. In order to tell the story of complex yet
groundbreaking psychiatric study, I translated the study to an informative
magazine article by incorporating more imagery and establishing a different
kind of ethos.
Because I realized Neurophysiologic Studies of Sensory Gating in
Schizophrenia: Comparison of Auditory and Visual Responses sounded
intimidating and complicated as a title, I went a different route and
introduced a title more fitting of a magazine article: Schizophrenic
Experiment Sparks Controversy. From personal experience, I know that not
only concise phrases but also attractive words such as controversy are

effective hooks for an audience. The title also provides a sense of ethos to
the reader. They are expecting some type of medical breakthrough and that
is what is given to them.
I begin the article with relating to my audiences common knowledge
and defining what schizophrenia is and its known symptoms. I also explain
the process of recruitment for the experiment. Compared to the original
scholarly article which stated specific details about the recruits and the
process, I simply mention the number and age group of the patients. I
understand that since my audience can include anyone, either a teenager or
a professor, I choose the simplest of explanatory routes each time.
In order to accommodate minds that are fascinated with the actual
physiology of the disease, I included a photograph comparing two different
MRI scans of a pair of twins brains. One twin has schizophrenia and the
other one is completely healthy. I explain the difference in the scans and
relate back to the sense of mood (ethos) as I have my readers absorb all the
more information. Explaining the scan, I include an anatomical phrase:
prefrontal cortex, to describe the region that is affected in schizophrenics.
My audience is now aware of the concept that different areas of the brain are
responsible for different aspects of the human kind.
Now that my audience is aware of the topic, I start to discuss the
experiment itself. I state that an eight-inch speaker was placed above a
subjects head (WP3-Part 1). I include the magnitude of the speaker in order
to provide my audience with a sense of place. I dont include any other detail

about the speaker, unlike the original article, as the speaker is not the center
of discussion. I also inform my audience that a click lasting just 0.4
milliseconds (that 0.0004 seconds) would sound (WP3-Part 1). Although I
include the exact measurement of the click as did the academic article, I do
so in order to have my reader understand just how scant the click is. I make
the assumption that some may find it fascinating, while others may glaze
over it.
In order to discuss the experiment thoroughly, I include that the
participants were also a part of a visual study. I report that while a click was
used for the auditory experiment, a flash of light was utilized for the visual
study (WP3-Part 1). I reiterate the idea of the aforementioned study and
introduce a new part as well. By doing so, I keep my audience engaged in the
material at hand. I then discuss how the researchers record the data, using
machines that measure brain waves, and found differences in brain wave
activity (wavelength, frequency, etc.) that were found in the auditory study
but not in the visual study (WP3-Part 1). Finally, my audience is made aware
of how these patients reactions are recorded and the results of those
Because my audience is now familiar with the experiment, I focus on
the controversial aspect of the story. I discuss how the data that was
collected points to a bodily process that normally occurs in healthy patients
but not in schizophrenics - sensory gating. I provide my audience with some
relief as I assume they are wondering why they need to know all this.

Explaining what sensory gating is and the pertinent role it plays in literally
everyones lives, I make the connection between the main idea of the
original academic article and the point I was trying to get across in this
I close the article with the hope that, with all the new data that has
been collected, these psychiatrists and researchers can collectively work to
effectively treat possibly a loved one, a colleague, or even a mere
acquaintance (WP3-Part 1). I close with an optimistic tone. No one wants to
read a magazine article and put the paper down feeling worse than they had
before. I work to avoid leaving my reader sad for the schizophrenic men,
women, and children who are subjected to this illness, but also make them
take note of the seriousness of the issue. With that, an additional aspect of
both mine and the original academic articles purpose is revealed.
Translating one genre, whether it be academic or nonacademic, is all
about the conventions that are employed. Choosing a genre is the easy part.
Breaking down the genre and identifying each aspect of the style and the
conventions that make up the style gets a little tricky. However, by using
both my translation and my reflection to help you better understand this
elaborate adventure, you will realize that there is a pattern or a single
purpose to every genre.

Barron, James. "A Secret Section of Central Park Reopens." The New York
Times. The New York Times, 10 May 2016. Web. 10 May 2016.
Adler, Lawrence E. Waldo, Merilyne C. Freedman, Robert. Neurophysiologic
Studies of Sensory Gating in Schizophrenia: Comparison of Auditory and
Visual Responses.