Emma Duffy

Sandra Alden
English 102 003
22 April 2014

Speech pathology is a specialized field where therapists evaluate and treat speech
impediments and swallowing disorders. After extensive schooling and clinical practice,
speech pathologists will go out into the world to help the public. Through research, I
have found two different genres that take a look into the life of a speech pathologist. The
two genres I have found are very similar in information, but vastly different in their
presentation styles.
The first genre is an online documentary called “Become an Audiologist or
Speech-Language Pathologist and Reward Yourself With a Career that Helps Others.”
This online documentary is posted among many other documentaries by The American
Speech-Language-Hearing Association retriable on YouTube. This genre is appealing to
visual learners who prefer a narrative perspective. The second genre has very similar
information as the online documentary, but a very different presentation style. This is an
online government handbook that is titled “The Bureau of Labor Statistics: Speech-
Language Pathologists.” This handbook is issue by the government and is retrievable
online. This genre is specific also to visual learners, but more so to those who just want
the facts laid out right in front of them. After analysing these two speech pathology
specific genres, it is relatively clear that both forms of communication, online
documentary and online handbook, fit the conventions of each given genre however,they
both appeal to different audiences.
Documentaries, whether online or televised, appeal to people who enjoy a
narrative aspect in their research. The audience who is watching, “Become an Audiologist or
Speech-Language Pathologist and Reward Yourself With a Career that Helps Others,” are most
likely interested in majoring in speech and hearing sciences. This documentary has two
intertwined parts to it, a profession in audiology vs. a profession in speech language pathology.
After majoring in speech and hearing sciences a student can go on to specialize in either of those
fields in a graduate program. This documentary makes itself useful to an undecided student
based audience because it goes into the lives of numerous audiologists as well as speech-
language pathologists. It will be helpful when deciding whether or not to major in speech and
hearing sciences, and if so which speciality will be in the students best interest when pursuing
the field in further education. This is an online documentary, opposed to a televised documentary
or movie documentary, so it is quite brief. Professional speech pathologists and audiologists get
personal with the camera crew and talk about why they love their career so much in a span of 13
minutes. That makes this genre in some aspects a quick reference, but in order gain knowledge of
this video in it’s entirety one would have to watch the entire video, not just scroll looking for
important points. This documentary serves the purpose of informing potential students with
undecided majors by a way of entertainment. Not only is this documentary informative and
entertaining, but it also has a persuasive aspect to it. This is because the pathologists and
audiologists are talking about the benefits a professional in this career would have on potential
The second source I came across that goes into depth into my future career, speech
pathology, is an online government handbook titled “The Bureau of Labor Statistics: Speech-
Language Pathology.” This source is intended for those who enjoy quick research with main
points bolded and made clear for quick viewing. Like the documentary, this online government
handbook has informational facts about speech pathology such as salary statistics, employment
statistics, the general need for this profession, what speech-language pathologists do, how much
schooling is required, and many more facts for someone who is thinking about pursuing a career
in this field. All the information about speech pathology is laid out in a simple viewing format
and is made easily accessible for someone who isn’t looking to spend more than 10 minutes
browsing the site. A table is laid out at the very top of this handbook that has all things a student
may want to know right off the bat. This table includes minimum salary, average salary, entry
education level, number of jobs in the previous year, and job outlook for the upcoming year. This
website is specifically made for informational purposes. No extra effort was used to fabricate
speech pathology. It has raw statistics and simple statements on what is to be expected when
entering that profession.
Both of my sources, documentary and handbook, have similar claims in their unique
genres however, they both are supported with different evidence. The online documentary
supports its claims of “being a job that rewards yourself by helping others,” by interviewing
people that are in the field of speech pathology. The information they talk about on camera is
primarily opinion. Each professional in these clips enjoy the profession they have chosen and
tells the camera why they feel it is so enjoyable. The online government handbook supports it’s
evidence with facts. It has percentages from previous years and has a brief explanation of what a
speech pathologist does and how to become one. Both of these forms of evidence are valid. Facts
from the handbook are collected by government employees and are put into the handbook for
informational purposes only. The opinions from the speech pathologists in the documentary are
also valid, even though they are opinion based. Some of the interviewed professionals are new to
their career and some have been in the field for over 20 years. They know better than anyone else
what is to expect when pursuing this career, and why it is more rewarding and more important
than the economic factors. Even though both genres are valid ways of gaining factual evidence
on speech pathology as a profession, they both lack where the other gains. The government
handbook has cold, hard facts and nothing to make the reader seem accommodated or
entertained. It is very brief and very to the point, whereas the documentary makes the viewer feel
comfortable and excited. Even though the documentary helps persuade a student to choose a
profession in speech pathology using emotional support, it lacks facts of what would be to come
economically if one was to chose a career in this field. This entirely has to do with the unique
genres of each forms of research. The genre for a handbook is factual not opinionated. For some
viewing audiences this is good because it is easy to skim through and get the information on the
basic facts about this career. It is all placed in a very formal register because it is government
based. The documentary is more for a visual and narrative based audience. If one wanted to view
this documentary they would learn a lot about what emotional factors come about after entering
this career, and they would learn it in a story based setting with a very casual register, as if each
interviewed speech pathologist was talking about their career to a good friend.
The rhetorical elements used in each of these genres are different. The online government
handbook has one form persuasion as to why becoming a speech-language pathologist is
beneficial, and the one form of persuasion used may not be completely persuasive in some
aspects. This handbook is completely factual, making it a logos appeal. What may seem
appealing to certain audiences, could be irrelevant to others. Stating facts about how the career is
in need and has a decent wage could be persuasive for an audience looking into this profession,
but for someone who is only considering many options it may not be the best source because it
lacks emotional appeal. Also if it was a bad year for speech pathology economic wise, the data in
the handbook might be less appealing than a good year would be.
The online government handbook is on the other end of the spectrum than the online
documentary I discovered, in a rhetorical aspect. Though they have similar information to offer,
they go about presenting their findings in a different manner. While the handbook presents it’s
information about the speech pathology profession in a logos matter, the documentary talks
about this field using pathos and ethos. Because this documentary interviews trained
professionals in the field, it makes this research source an ethos appeal. They are a credible
source of information because they have completed the schooling and are applying themselves
physically and mentally in the field of speech pathology making them know all the inside
information about their job. They also use a pathos argument to appeal to the audience. The
speech pathologists as well as audiologists talk about what makes their profession so rewarding
outside of the salary. They show themselves helping patients and changing lives for the better
which could pull at the audience's heart strings. It would be beneficial for the audience if this
documentary added some statistics and facts to contribute to the logos appeal. Using pathos and
ethos will get the audience emotionally involved and give the speaker credibility but it lacks
facts being laid out in a persuasive way.
Both the online government handbook and the online documentary relating to speech-
language pathology are equally effective genres to gain information, however they will appeal to
very different audiences. They both have very fascinating facts that are similar, just presented in
different ways. The handbook, “Bureau of Labor Statistics: Speech-Language Pathology,”
appeals to an audience who prefers a logos appeal in an easy to access form. The online
documentary, “Become an Audiologist or Speech-Language Pathologist and Reward Yourself
with a Career that Helps Others,” appeals to an audience using pathos and ethos, in a narrative
form that is made for informational as well as entertainment purposes. The handbook as well as
the documentary offer information such as economic factors, what the job consists of, and how
to become a part of this profession, they just present it in ways that appeal to a different variety
of audiences.