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Comparison between Scholarly and Popular Science Articles

2594 words (10 pages) Essay in Data Analysis

08/02/20 Data Analysis Reference this

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Could you imagine that your hair products may possibly give you asthma? This is what has significantly been conveyed to us through two journals we are about to discuss. These two write ups has beautifully covered the issue but with different genre and are categorized in two types; the scholarly scientific article and popular science article. If we talk about scholarly scientific articles; they are basically original research on a specific topic and written purely in the scientific method. These can be of two type of journals i.e. discipline-specific and less discipline specific. The first category’s audience is normally another scientist of the same field as the author and for the second category, the audience is the scientist in different fields. Popular science articles communicate information to a general audience on science-related topics or news. These articles are normally a summary of original research reports or scholarly scientific articles. The article chosen as a scholarly scientific article is “Measurement of endocrine disrupting and asthma-associated chemicals hair products used by Black women” written by Jessica S. Helm in environmental research. The audience of this article is obviously scientists’ community which is unaware of these facts till now or has a little research on the topic. This journal is based on a strong research and its purpose is to spread the awareness of the side effects of hair products used by Black women. The popular science journal that has been taken in contrast with the scholarly scientific article is from a blog where a writer has expressed his/her concern. The name of the journal is “Hair products for Black women contain mix of hazardous ingredients”. This is basically a summary or easy version of the facts indicated in the scholarly scientific article stated above. The writer has tried to convey the information to the general public on the risks that hair products are causing through these dangerous chemicals.

It is important to know the linguistic difference between scholarly scientific and popular science journal. Linguistic difference underlines the techniques through which the journal has been organized, diction used along with facts and figures stated to understand the logical picture of any particular topic. It should clearly define the purpose of an article, the intention of the author with possible, require information about them. It takes along the audience and occasion to describe important elements and occurrences. We should know the significance of techniques used for writing any article whether it is choice of words or selection of data to highlight the factors involved. Linguistic analysis works along with three main strategies logos (logic), pathos (emotion) and ethos (moral). They are called mode of persuasion. Journals which are normally pure research-based and written logically and rationally are said to be logos analysis.  Pathos linguistic articles describe the emotions of the people as they are written in an emotional manner. Ethos critically belongs to human ethics and explain things in a careful manner for better societal proceedings. It is important to do the analysis and differentiate both the articles in term of their organization, diction and figures.

As we start with the organizing pattern of both the journals, we could observe a clear difference between them. The scholarly scientific article has been written while using logos and ethos whereas popular journal basically indicates ethos and pathos analysis. The scholarly article is skillfully organized as we see it from the start till end. A proper heading of the article can be seen along with names of the authors and place of publication. The writer has even highlighted the keywords on the left side of the first page.  This is kind of a proper research paper starting with an abstract and introduction. It has indicated methods of the research step by step such as ‘Selection’, ‘Chemical Analysis’, and ‘Data Analysis’. We could also see ‘Results’ section with appropriate subheadings of different chemicals to elaborate their usage with an accurate percentage. Some discussions with limitations of the research ended with a conclusion. A conventional in-text citation and references with indexes are marked at the end of the journal. Most importantly every section has a proper heading with a complete detail and data on it. The writer has informed on the harmful chemicals including their exact amount used in hair products. Possible outcomes or results of these chemicals on the health of Black women are incorporated so that to raise the awareness level on health-related issues. 

Likewise, if we review the popular science article it’s a general publication. We cannot see any pattern or organization as the scholarly science article has in it. Literally, it has been written for a general public, therefore, the organization is simple and easy to comprehend so that message could be conveyed to common people. We could hardly see any heading/section or in-text citation except one reference which has been marked at the end of the article. Simple but elaborative; the organization is good as we see it public perspective.

Words and phrases choice have also been contrasted in both the articles. Scholarly Journal has been formed in pure scientific language and narration whereas popular science article can be said as a blend of both. We could see refined scientific phrases and words used to describe the process and outcome of using the hair products made of risky chemicals. Chemicals names like “endocrine disrupting chemicals, phthalates, phenols, parabens, cyclosiloxanes, UV filters, Glycol ether and alkylphenols” has been used to provide particular detail related to chemicals which are used in hair products and normally not included in the ingredient sections of the product label; causing dangerous disease in US Black women. Writer has indicated a variety of facts in the report such as Exposure to chemicals from personal care products is thought to occur primarily via absorption through skin and inhalation (Ernstoff et al., 2016)” and ” Recent research suggests that EDCs in common consumer products, including hair products, contribute to these hormone-mediated diseases. For example, use of hair oil and hair relaxers is associated with earlier menarche higher incidence of fibroids and increased risk of breast cancer”.

Comparing these facts with the non-scholarly article, we merely see any of these instances as it is written in a simple format. Although we can see some scientific words marked to explain the possible risks with names and percentage of the chemicals used in these damaging hair products. The problem has been narrated in a simple but comprehensive form. Phrases are unlike the scholarly article indicating the outcomes faced by Black women. The blog writer has tried to raise the issue by summarizing the scholarly article in an understandable approach. For instance “This study is a first step toward uncovering what harmful substances are in products frequently used by Black women, so we can better understand what’s driving some of the health issues they’re facing.”

Obviously, the scholarly journal is full of figures and facts. As we can analyze the table taken from the journal.  These figures comprehensively show the facts narrated in the article with a smart approach of indicating various portions/quantities used in products consequently highlighting potential risks and threats of illness. The journal has really invoked the data needed by other scientists of the same field to analyze and judge the actual study for formulating future strategies.

Table 1

Median and maximum concentration and percent of products with concentrations > MRL for selected chemicals by product category.

Chemical Class

Select Chemicala

> MRL

Med

Max

> MRL

Med

Max

> MRL

Med

Max

> MRL

Med

Max

UV filter

octinoxate

67%

34

646

25%

4

0%

33%

38

UV filter

benzophenone− 1

0%

25%

2

33%

2

33%

36

cyclosiloxane

decamethylcyclopentasiloxaneb

100%

391394

456794

75%

30

192

0%

100%

289

1530

cyclosiloxane

octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane

100%

1282

2591

75%

8

52

0%

100%

24

54

glycol ether

2-phenoxyethanol

0%

50%

24

412

0%

33%

16

fragrance

HHCB

67%

16

34

75%

50

84

33%

104

67%

4

76

fragrance

linalool

33%

112

100%

132

204

67%

139

394

100%

334

498

fragrance

limonene

100%

316

376

75%

31

60

33%

1872

100%

70

132

alkylphenol

nonylphenol diethoxylate

0%

50%

7

191

33%

91

67%

183

373

ethanolamine

diethanolamineb

0%

0%

0%

67%

14

314

antimicrobial

triclosanb

0%

0%

0%

33%

56

bisphenol A

bisphenol Ab

0%

0%

17%

4

33%

46

phthalate

diethyl phthalate

0%

100%

96

510

100%

77

2448

100%

52

120

phthalate

bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate

33%

8

25%

4

0%

33%

90

paraben

methyl parabenb

0%

100%

240

452

67%

1160

2100

100%

796

922

Popular science article also indicated few figures such as “A total of 45 endocrine disruptors were detected, with each product containing anywhere between 4 and 30 of the target chemicals”. Similarly, we can see some more simple calculations and figures mentioned in the journal in form of summarized data which is presented in the scholarly scientific article. It has also met the requirement of sending summarized but needed information to the end user or the general public.

It is mandatory that for writing any journal or blog we emphasize on the purpose and content with providing necessary information. The main focus should be on what we want to convey and what the background checks are. Either writing a scholarly article or non-scholarly article few things like subject, purpose, audience, tone, and approaches should be underlined. It is important that the reader or audience totally understand what they are reading and what that specific information is adding to their minds/lifestyle. Scientific journal normally requires a pure scientific approach like logos to elaborate the facts as other scientists will understand the issue while knowing it through a logical channel. In popular articles, logos are not needed but the ethos is important as addressing to the general public requires some kind of caring attitude. Their emotions can be ignored sometimes but we cannot put back their life interests, norms, and values.

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