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Jacob Smith

ENC 2135

Ms. Boudreau

Oct. 30th, 2017

Project 2

Introduction

While Im still a part of the Florida State exploratory program, I narrowed my fields of

interest down to studying human behavior after completing project one. To continue exploring

human behavior, I decided to focus my artifact comparison around the autism spectrum. I find it

interesting how brains functions differently, and learning about the autism spectrum helps me

understand the extreme ways a persons mind is wired differently than mine. Both of my

artifacts are responsible for raising peoples knowledge about the autism spectrum. However

these artifacts reach out to different audiences through different methods.

I found my first artifact through pubmed.org, a search engine for the US National Library

of Medicine and the Nation Institute of Health. The article titled Neurocognitive and

observational markers: prediction of autism spectrum disorder from infancy to mid-childhood

included six authors from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. These authors all

have PhDs in fields that focus on the human mind, for example psychology (Bedford et al., 1).

My second artifact is something that I first saw as a public service announcement. The video

PSA (Public Service Announcement) named The World of Autism PSA informs the audience how

a person on the autism spectrum sees the world differently. These artifacts raise awareness about

the autism spectrum while in different ways for different audiences. The authors use their

knowledge of their audience to design their works. The rhetorical strategies in these artifacts
clearly define the genre they are associated with. The structured article fits in with other

scientifically written papers, while the informing PSA closely compares to other awareness

advertisements.

Organization

This comparison between the scientific article and the public service announcement will

focus on two particular aspects, their respective audiences and the rhetorical strategies they use.

This paper will be organized into five sections titled Introduction, Organization, Audience,

Rhetorical Strategies, and a Conclusion. These five sections are in the same order they are listed

in. The Introduction and Conclusion are self-explanatory, and the Organization section details

how this paper is set up. The body of the paper, the Audience and Rhetorical Strategies sections,

will follow an identical pattern. The articles information will be presented before the PSA with

details about the audience or the rhetorical strategies used, then the public service announcement

details. The article comes first because much of the information the public service

announcement uses comes from different studies and scientific papers like Neurocognitive and

observational markers: prediction of autism spectrum disorder from infancy to mid-childhood.

After the information is presented, the body paragraphs will end with a comparison between the

two artifacts.

Audience

The article title Neurocognitive and observational markers: prediction of autism

spectrum disorder from infancy to mid-childhood aims to inform a medically educated audience

their findings about observing early signs of autism in babies. The article is found in academic

journal Springer Nature and has been shared around the medical field through other academic

journals and databases. Doctors and other medical professionals are the types of people that read
medical journals because these journals provide professionals with a way to stay updated on the

newest medical discoveries. After choosing the Autism Speaks advertisement to compare this

article to, I found out through further research that Autism Speaks helped fund this study along

with many other donors (Bedford et al. 10). Autism Speaks relies on research making more

findings on the subject, so they fund the researchers to complete their research so awareness

organizations can inform people how they will alter their way of dealing with the autism

spectrum.

The researchers part of this study are highly qualified, they work for prestigious

universities from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. For example, King's

College in London and Birkbeck College (Bedford et al., 1). The study isnt meant to be

comprehended by the average adult in the United States, but it does provide lots of detailed

accounts of early signs of autism and how they distinguish themselves from normal babies.

When awareness groups, or family doctors, or other interested people read this study they should

understand how to identify autism in babies and translate that knowledge into their work. A

family doctor may diagnose a baby that fits into the autism spectrum early enough to make a

better future for that baby. Awareness groups take this study and spread the knowledge so more

parents with young children know how to educate themselves on the subject and can identify

early signs in their children.

Without awareness groups, parents might not consider looking for early signs of autism

in their children. The proactiveness of a parent to go onto a website like pubmed.org to research

this subject is incredibly rare. The ad I selected to compare to the article was funded and

released by Autism Speaks. The ad played before Youtube videos, on TV, and other ways that

reached a wide range of people (Ad Council). Autismspeaks.org list their target audience as
parents with children age zero through six. The way society treats autism evolves as more

research on the subject reaches more people. The Autism Speaks awareness group hoped parents

with children ages zero through six would learn more about spotting signs of their child being on

the autism spectrum. In fact, they end the video titled The World of Autism PSA with a still

image of their websites URL so the audience knows an easy way to learn more about the

subject. As well, this video creates conversation about autism among audience members that

usually find this subject to be a taboo matter. With more information about the autism spectrum

coming out, its important to spread that knowledge and help everyone grasp how an autistic

mind operates.

Researchers that publish studies like the one Im evaluating, and awareness organizations

like Autism Speaks work together to complete their purposes. The article aims to use

scientifically collected data in order to improve the medical communitys knowledge about the

autism spectrum and early signs of autism. The video releases this information to the masses so

people can learn the early signs of autism in children. Learning the difference between these two

artifacts helps distinguish the qualities of a medical article from awareness advertisement. A

medical article explains why certain things happen and an awareness video shares information in

layman terms to give the public a resource to learn about the subject. While these two artifacts

spread knowledge about the same subject, they differ in style because their different audiences

and purposes.

Rhetorical Strategies

In Neurocognitive and observational markers: prediction of autism spectrum disorder

from infancy to mid-childhood the terminology makes it difficult for a large audience to
comprehend. Here is a short excerpt from the articles Methods section full of difficult medical

terminology that the authors assume the audience understands.

First, we tested whether infant neurocognitive markers (7-month neural response to eye

gaze shifts and 14-month visual disengagement latencies) as well as an observational

marker of emerging ASD behaviours (the Autism Observation Scale for Infants; AOSI)

predicted ASD outcome in high-risk (HR) 7-year-olds with and without an ASD

diagnosis (HR-ASD and HR-No ASD) and low risk (LR) controls. Second, we tested

whether the neurocognitive markers offer predictive power over and above the AOSI.

(Bedford et al., 3)

The authors use medical lingo like neurocognitive markers and neural response because their

audience should already be educated with this subject, and extra clarification would take away

from the conciseness of the article. The article isnt necessarily concise in all areas, but the

authors use medical jargon whenever possible to increase the clarity of the article with using the

least amount of words. The articles primary audience comprises of doctors and other medical

professionals; this results in the article structure full of detailed accounts of their methods and

their statistics used to form a conclusion. The beginning of this study list the authors and their

backgrounds in the field, including the distinguished university departments they work for

(Bedford et al., 1). Some departments are always in the midst of the best publishings in their

respected field, and professionals in the medical field pay close attention to the people that

consistently publish quality work. To continue convincing the audience that the work published

in their paper is scientific and reliable, the authors clarify everything they planned in the study.

The methods section of this study included six different subtitles to cover every part of their

research so the audience is aware. Examples of these subtitles in the methods sections includes
Statistical Analysis, Participants, Procedures, and more (Bedford et al.). Its important to know

that the author didnt make up or exaggerate their findings, and the best way to ensure that is

through clarifying the methods used.

The authors translate their observations on early autism predictors into quantitative

information, a process described in their methods section. This number-oriented information

results in an easier way to make a scientific statement, because the researchers provide numbers

to form concrete conclusions instead of using qualitative observations. From the results sections

of the paper, the authors use the p-value statistic ( 2(2) = 12.15, p = 0.002 to prove that a

Seven-month P400 amplitude difference score was a significant overall predictor of the ASD

outcome (Bedford et al., 5). The authors explain these numbers show that they found a

statistically significant difference between babies who grow up under the autism spectrum and

babies who grow up considered normally functioning. The authors strategy to help the audience

make sense of their findings is through translating their observations made into quantitative

information. The audience of medical professionals understands that this papers structure is

boring for anyone, but they need to know how to read scholarly papers and identify the credible

ones from the unreliable ones. The audience understands the medical jargon used throughout the

paper, and looks for results to make a clear statement, which is exactly what this paper does

through translating their scientific observations into numeric data.

The audience for the Autism Speaks awareness video needs an informative dialogue that

doesnt require a high education to understand. The video uses layman terms instead of difficult

medical terminology to describes the autism spectrum. The video describes how difficulty with

eye contact is a telling sign of autism among children. The PSA illustrates how an autistic mind

might experience making eye contact with an animation, and the narrator explains how sensative
to light and sound an autistic mind can be. In an awareness campaign project that reached

millions, the Autism Speaks organization rated The World of Autism PSA their number one PSA

because of the way the videos point of view is through an autistic mind and helps the audience

understand how an autistic mind functions (Ad Council). The video connects with the audience

on a personal level during the last ten seconds of the video when its revealed that this is Jacob

Sanchezs story. Learning about Jacob Sanchez teaches the audience how autism is something

that people can learn to live with, especially when treatment begins at a young age like with

Jacob. A deeper connection with the awareness movement results from learning how minds

function differently and learning how people learn to live with autism.

This video also employs a relaxed narrative that informs the audience important details

about the autism spectrum. The narrative explains new details about the spectrum, as well it

advocates more awareness and solid reasoning to stay informed. The narrator describes the

possible dangers of delaying treatment for this mental health condition in children and babies to

give the audience a reason to stay informed on the subject. With a relaxed narrative the audience

understands the laymen terms used to describe autism more that if the advertisement used a more

official sounding narrative because, the audience interprets the PSA to be personal and authentic.

With the hope that the audience will research this subject more on their website after watching

this ad, the personal connections made through the point-of-view animation and the personal

narrative will help hook the audience to learn more. With different audiences these informative

works require different rhetorical techniques to convince their audience of their claim. The

article needed to convince a medical audience that their drawn conclusions about spotting early

signs of a mind on the spectrum were accurate. They did so by focusing their article on

background data and detailing every aspect of this study so no flaws are found in the study. The
article explains the importance of observing eye contact in babies through the scientific process,

the article concludes, Eye-gaze processing at 7 months and attention disengagement at 14

months, are associated with ASD diagnostic outcome in mid-childhood. (Bedford et al., 7).

This supports what the PSA describes, but the video does describes the importance of observing

eye contact in children by giving a real-life example of how an autistic child views making eye

contact with people so they understand how it feels. The World of Autism PSA concentrates their

rhetorical strategies on simplifying the information in a way that the audience understands. The

advertisement uses an autistic minds point of view to communicate how a mind on the spectrum

functions in ways people dont take the time to think about. I enjoy learning about how the

human mind functions, so I need to focus my readings on works that are more informative that

the advertisement video. For me to actually gain some knowledge on how an autistic mind

functions differently I would need to read a published article that provides scientific data to

explain the studys claims in order for me to feel confident in my own understanding of the

subject and my ability to explain it to others.

Conclusion

Both of these distinguished works provides answers about the autism spectrum to their

respective audiences. Neurocognitive and observational markers: prediction of autism spectrum

disorder from infancy to mid-childhood explains to medical professionals how to identify early

signs of autism through their use detailed accounts of how their study was structured and how

they interpreted the data they collected. The World of Autism PSA was created as a hook for the

Autism Speaks awareness group, the friendly video offers suggestions to the general public why

it is important to educate yourself on ways to identify autism and how to deal with the autism

spectrum in life. Both of these informative works are unique based on the way their audiences
want their questions answered, they both answer questions about the autism spectrum and their

ideas about how to deal with it, but they go about answering these questions using different

methods and reasonings.


Works Cited

Bedford, R, et al. Neurocognitive and observational markers: prediction of autism spectrum

disorder from infancy to mid-Childhood. Molecular autism., U.S. National Library of

Medicine, 22 Sept. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29018511.

Autism Awareness (2017). AdCouncil, 2017 Ad Council, May 2017,

www.adcouncil.org/Impact/Case-Studies/Autism-Awareness-2017.

Behind the Scenes: The World of Autism PSA. Autism Speaks, 2017 Autism Speaks Inc., 4

Nov. 2015, www.autismspeaks.org/news/news-item/behind-scenes-world-autism-psa.


Reflection questions

How did you narrow down the purpose (or purposes) of your artifacts?

I found that the reason my two artifacts differed in rhetorical strategies was because they

were reaching out to audiences with differing levels of education. The article I examined was

attempting to publish their findings so a medically educated audience could learn more details

about how to identify signs of autism is babies. This resulted in a highly detailed paper that

includes many statistical evidence of their findings, which was the main rhetorical strategy they

used. The advertisement attempted to convince the general public to educate themselves on the

autism spectrum through their organization. This led to rhetorical strategies that attempted to

help the audience connect with the cause to spread awareness about the subject.

How will you work to analyze genres in the future based on what you now know?

The comparison I used for project two showed me the importance of the author knowing

his/her audience. Before I analyze a work in the future, I will identify the audience in order to

determine what type of rhetorical strategies the author will likely use.