Writing an Academic Journal- Sam Swanson

I calculated some of the numbers of an article and they were 16 words per line, 45 lines on a page and typically about 11-12 pages per article in the Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications.

In order to get my research paper publication-ready, I need to keep researching more secondary sources based on intercultural communication but more specifically different language barriers. I also want to find a few more primary resources because my research is about communication and the best possible research I can have is person to person communication, whether that be phone interviews, in person interviews etc. I haven't put an actual number of secondary sources I want to include it all depends on the quality of sources I can find and that will be useful to my paper. The purposes these sources will have in my paper is putting a different spin or viewpoint into my research. Right now I have a lot about how people overcome language barriers and I want to research struggles with overcoming these barriers.

The journal I have chosen is the Elon Journal from Elon University. To sum up the basis of research topics in this journal I would say that there are many political, and media related topics. The media related topics are based on all forms of media; social media use, television, advertisements, and more.

** Journal Overview and Citation Practices**

This study examined the culture of rap/hip-hop music and how misogynistic lyrical messages influenced listeners’ attitudes toward intimate partner violence. Adams and Fuller (2006) define misogyny as the “hatred or disdain of women” and “an ideology that reduces women to objects for men’s ownership, use, or abuse” (p. 939). Popular American hip-hop and rap artists, such as Eminem, Ludacris and Ja Rule, have increasingly depicted women as objects of violence or male domination by communicating that “submission is a desirable trait in a woman” (Stankiewicz & Rosselli, 2008, p. 581). These songs condone male hegemony in which “men find the domination and exploitation of women and other men to be not only expected, but actually demanded” (Prushank, 2007, p. 161). Thus, these messages glorify violence against women, including rape, torture and abuse, and foster an acceptance of sexual objectification and degradation of women (Russo & Pirlott, 2006). These misogynistic themes first emerged in rap/hip-hop songs in the late 1980s and are especially apparent today with women being portrayed as sex objects and victims of sexual violence (Adams & Fuller, 2006; Russo & Pirlott, 2006).

This article discusses the correlation that rap/hip hop music and the vulgar language it uses that degrades women and researches if this music has a real life effect on violence towards women. The vulgar language that this music uses is based on treating women as sexual objects and not an equal to the male gender. The article looks at specific songs from 2000 - 2010 on the Billboard charts. Rap/ Hip Hop music today is has too much of a focus on men demoralizing women and using aggression and violence towards them. These lyrics are showing younger listeners, especially teenagers, that this is sort of a norm in music and teach them to think this activity is acceptable.

The author of this article uses citations in a very neat and clear manner. I can tell that the author really knows what they are talking about and placed the citations in the context perfectly so there was no confusion. Sometimes authors do citation after citation with no descriptions in their own words between, and that can lead to repetition and letting the reader zone out of the article. The author definitely has a relationship with these citations and use them to make the article flow in a smooth manner. The author also shows that they have the information and facts to back up the important citations used in this article.

The author does a great job in the article of showing great detail about how the researched material from the songs can correlate with possible violence and other behavior in real life from listeners of Rap/ Hip Hop music. The author states the facts in this article but also inputs their opinion, which adds another great aspect to the article. The use of advanced language, but not complicated, really shows a personality in this piece and improves the writing.

Overall, this article provided facts and opinions on the affect of Rap/ Hip Hop music may have on behaviors and violence from the demeaning language used towards women as sexual objects. The use of citations proved that there is evidence about real life violence and that people are very influential, especially when they are younger, and males.

Definition practices

The article I chose for this post was from The Elon Journal called "Pumping Steel and Sex Appeal:Message Strategies and Content in Dietary Supplement Advertisements." This article talks about the industry of dietary supplements and more specifically protein powders and others for muscle growth. The definitions that found in this article tend to be located in the body of the article because that is where the explanations and heart of the information is placed.

Dietary Supplements are defined as “any product designed to supplement the diet that bears one of the following ingredients: a vitamin, a mineral, a herb or other botanical agent, an amino acid, weight-loss supplement, or herbal remedy”

A rational appeal was defined as “a factual presentation” of a product that tends to motivate consumers through informational and logical arguments while an emotional appeal is generally defined as attempting to evoke an affective response to influence consumer attitudes and choice behavior.

In this case, both of these definitions that were quoted, were formal definitions. They focused on the term to be defined using the structure of a particular kind of sentence. The author clearly stated that this is what is getting defined and here is the definition. The first definition defining dietary supplements was attributed to another researcher, (Main, Argo & Huhmann, 2004, p. 29) but the second definition was not attributed to anyone but the author. In this article definition serves as a necessary element, especially when defining dietary supplements because the main topic of this article is dietary supplements. Also the author is defining these terms because the majority of the audience probably doesn't know what most of the defined terms mean beforehand. Some of the definitions in this article are precise terminology but some of more vague and provide examples of the definition in or after the definition. The definitions also all seem to have only one meaning and are specifically stated in that manner.

Breaking down the message

I chose to use the same article as my last wiki post, "Pumping Steel and Sex Appeal:Message Strategies and Content in Dietary Supplement Advertisements. This article is from the Elon Journal and the author is Joseph T. Ziemba. The first passage from this article that was difficult to follow was:

"Dietary Supplements are defined as “any product designed to supplement the diet that bears one of the following ingredients: a vitamin, a mineral, a herb or other botanical agent, an amino acid, weight-loss supplement, or herbal remedy” (Main, Argo & Huhmann, 2004, p. 29). These supplements fall under their own regulatory area under the United States Food and Drug Administration as they are not subjected to the same standards of medical drugs or food products . The 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) redefined the classification of DSs, putting them into a unique category as neither a food nor a drug. Under DSHEA, the safety and efficacy of DSs didn’t have to be approved or evaluated by the FDAbefore being marketed to the public and it became the responsibility of the FDA to demonstrate a product is unsafe before taking action against a manufacturer. The FDA is also charged with regulating the labeling of DSs, ensuring the claims on labeling fall within one of three allowable categories: health, nutrient content, or structure/function (DeLorme et al. 2012)."

This passage stood out to me because of all the categorizing of supplements and numerous organizations that are listed for being in charge of what part of the dietary supplements. The author doesn't show any doubt towards this passage but there just seems to be too much going on and too much classification. It is hard to follow what the DSHEA or the DSs is all in charge of because it is all bunched together and sounds the same.

"This study used both a qualitative and quantitative approach to content analysis. Eighty-two print advertisements for fitness-related dietary supplements were selected to adequately analyze the relationship between the type of message appeal and the information provided about the supplement. Two publications with strong focuses on physical fitness and overall health were chosen to create a sample with a concentration on fitness. Popular men’s fitness and lifestyle magazine Men’s Health and bodybuilding magazine Muscle & Fitness were chosen to get advertisements geared toward men ranging from innocuous meal replacement supplements to the more intense bodybuilding supplements, which tend to contain a higher number of unfamiliar ingredients with possible health risks."

This passage was part of the sampling process aspect of the article and talked about their testing that was done for this article. In the last sentence it states that more intense bodybuilding supplements tend to contain a higher number of unfamiliar ingredients, well what ingredients are they are how do they affect the human body? Also some words like innocuous might not be an everyday word for people and could use a vague or formal definition to help readers understand the sentence.

"Existing in a regulatory gray area as neither a food nor a drug, dietary supplements have fierce controversies over safety and regulation. This regulatory state can create a problem if the persuasion of supplement ads convince consumers to purchase harmful products. Using Taylor’s Six-Segment Message Strategy Wheel, this study analyzed the relationship between informational print ads for dietary supplements and transformational message strategies. Transformational strategies, appeals to viewer’s emotions or sense of self, were used more frequently in ads than their Informational counterparts, revealing that supplement manufacturers may be selling their products based on a better body image than actual health benefits. A lack of information about supplement ingredients and effects in ads also revealed an imbalance between information and persuasion."

This final passage was taken from the abstract portion of the piece. Some of the wording in this piece is confusing and could be explained better. For example "appeals to viewer's emotions or sense of self." I think that this could be explained instead of just figuring reader's will understand. Even though this is from the abstract of the article, it should explain a little deeper and clearer about what this article is going to talk about.

I think these passages of the article are very important, yet confusing at points, and portray great research that means a lot to this study. This article could be more concise but also has great research that is proven and adds a lot to the message.

Style of Journal Writing

I compared two articles from The Elon Journal both relating to politics and elections. The first article is written by Julia Caplan titled, "Social Media and Politics: Twitter Use in the Second Congressional District of Virginia." The second article is written by Rachel Southmayd titled, "Truth and Context in the 2012 Presidential Debates."

Article 1 Excerpt:
"The structure of Twitter is designed to allow for a kind of dissemination of information, just as DeSanctis and Poole (1994) suggested in their research. With a 140-character maximum, Twitter is used to send out small bursts of information to large groups of people. The PEW Internet Project conducted in 2012 found that 66% of adults who are online use social networking sites. In this study, 75% of these adult users say their friends post at least some content related to politics, and 37% of users post political related material on these sites at least occasionally (Smith and Rainie, 2012). This real-time information network allows for politicians to connect to users almost instantaneously and gives them the ability to share information with people while gathering feedback."

Article 2 Excerpt:
"Two main methods were used to gather information for this paper. The first method used was a combination of media and debate analysis. Media outlets (both television, print and online) focused on certain points in the debate where the candidates told lies or gave facts out of context. By looking at these facts and their own context within the debate transcripts, a more comprehensive framework can be found with which to analyze these moments. In other words, topics specified by media outlets indicate what moments within the debate are worth closer examination."

After comparing both articles, I found that the they were written with very similar styles. Both writers provided statistics from either a survey or credible source studies to back up their arguments. Both articles are targeting the same audience, American political followers, and are also writing about similar topics of political elections. The excerpt from article 1 is stating the role twitter and social media plays in political elections by using statistics to show the popularity of social media for adults in the United States. The author shapes their argument numerous times by using phrases like: "in this study." Also there are many points of emphasis typically to start off sentences like: "The importance of…," or "Ultimately."

The excerpt from article 2 displays that media has a different type of effect on political elections instead of assisting politicians in their campaigning. Media in this case can possibly bring down a politician by pointing out flaws and lies in their debates. The author uses a lot of specific language and statistics just like article 1. There are also many points of emphasis in the message of the argument letting the audience know about the phrases importance. In both articles the discursive "I" was rarely exhibited and kept to writing in a professional style.

Knowledge- Making Cues

I chose to use the article from the Elon Journal titled, "Assessing Network TV Ad Watches
in the 2012 Presidential Election," by Stephanie Petrich. In this article the author uses mostly qualitative information and in depth analysis about ad watches during the 2012 presidential election between Obama and Romney. Later on in the article there are some quantitative graphs and diagrams that display research studies that were conducted but mainly the article focuses on qualitative communication.

In the research method section of this article, the author does use agentless expressions. For example, "Bernard Berelson, a researcher who is often cited for the classic definition of
this method, defines a content analysis as “a research technique for objective, systematic and quantitative description of the manifest content of communication” (as cited in Stempel, 2003)." There are a decent number of these examples in this section of the article because the author is displaying what research was conducted and found and who did the research. The author herself does not include herself in her writing because it would not be appropriate or necessary to add her personal opinions into the data. This is a professional research based article does not infer a part for personal statements.

Here are some in text examples of modals and limiting expressions:

"Content analysis is often used when researchers are trying to analyze framing techniques."

"Ad watches typically occur on broadcast news networks, so this study focused on three major news networks’ ad watches, CNN, ABC and FOX News (see Appendix B)."

"The majority of the ABC and CNN ad watches used campaign advertisements that the candidate sponsored."

These expressions are functioning in the article because they are limiting and pointing out possible doubt and show the audience that in certain cases something is not always true. Most of the reporting verbs were written in either simple past or present perfect. The reason for these verb tenses is because the author is showing that the research and studies have already taken place and she is just reporting the findings.

Introductions and Conclusions

For this post I chose the article by Mariah Irvin called "Women in TV broadcast news: Reporters and sources in hard news stories," in the Elon Journal. In the introduction there are definitely more limiting expressions like: most, frequently, more often, and traditionally. Also there is a knowledge deficit in the introduction compared to the conclusion. This is appropriate because the introduction is supposed to warm up the topic of the article and the conclusion wraps up the already stated knowledge from earlier in the article.

In the conclusion, the author explains what can and needs to be done in order to break the stereotype of men being broadcasters. This is different than the introduction because the reader did not know any of this information coming into the introduction. The conclusion is wrapping up the statistics stated throughout the article and the introduction opens up the argument to the reader and brings out the issues in the broadcast industry.

The author does make moralizing statements in the conclusion stating "The argument that soft news stories are written for women is one that remains as a reason to relegate
female reporters to said stories in the future (Carter, 1998). However, this old stereotype must be broken in order for women to feel that they deserve to hold leadership roles and feel equal to men."

Overview of Good Writing

My original paper was a research paper that was based on intercultural communication and ways to overcome language barriers. The paper had numerous primary and secondary sources explaining different intercultural encounters and specific ways to overcome various language barriers.

I think good writing in my chosen research journal, Elon Journal, entails very descriptive and detailed writing. The writing is supposed to back up the main argument of the article and have enough supporting evidence to convince the reader. I think that my observations about articles in my journal reflect good writing but could be more detailed. I just do not know or understand fully sometimes the detail in the writing. But I add language that is concise and clear to readers in order to provide a full understanding of my observations. I have tried to meet these standards of good writing in my revisions by adding more formal writing, and a better research based paper.

Project 2

For possible publications for project two, I researched The Brave New Traveler. This magazine offers traveling articles, interviews, photos, and information about various places. The audience for this magazine is obviously a traveler and no specific traveler because the magazine has a wide variety of content. The audience might be experienced travelers looking for new adventures or new travelers with no knowledge about the traveling world.

The article I chose in The New Brave Traveler was called "How traveling helped me overcome shyness." This article relates to mine because the author is using the strategy of traveling to overcome his shyness, as my article states many strategies to overcome language and cultural barriers while traveling and other situations. This article about shyness has an audience of travelers, but more focused on travelers who might be scared to go to exotic locations that are out of their comfort zones.

"Travel teaches you a lot of things, and the fact that it’s helped me overcome shyness is probably the most valuable thing I’ve taken away from it, in terms of personal growth."

I feel that this publication could be a potential venue for my second paper because intercultural communication is intertwined with traveling. Since this magazine is targeting travelers, my studies could interest travelers on strategies to overcome language and cultural barriers during their travels.

Project 2 Revision Plan

My publication, Brave New Traveler, focuses on traveling in the 21st century. The magazine offers traveling news, interviews, and online travel tools. The audience for this publication is very general, travelers. The online magazine is supposed to offer guidance for new and experienced travelers about new places and help during the planning stages of their travels. I want to reorganize my paper to fit into this publication in order to help travelers overcome language and cultural barriers during their foreign adventures. I need to add more of a narrative style to conform to this publication's style. There is more storytelling in the articles as well as shorter articles. I need to cut out the academic research that I did for my first paper and write more towards the general traveler. My findings portion of my first paper will be the majority of the essential information that I will cross over to my second paper.

Project 3

For my paper I plan on revising my first paper in order to improve my academic writing and also improve my argument for my expert audience. I am going to add a little more research to my argument but mostly improve the structure of my paper. My audience is an expert audience with an educated background behind intercultural communication. I am targeting people involved in education programs that deal with international students as well as people dealing with international business. For the most part my target audience will have a decent amount of knowledge about intercultural communication and I am going to show them new information from my research. My purpose of this paper is to inform my audience about strategies to effectively communicate with other cultures and languages. I will obviously use the information from project 1 but since project 2 was towards a completely different audience as well as style, it would be hard to incorporate it into this project.

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