Rhetoric in Action-The Importance of Audience

When composing any sort of writing, whether it is a note on the refrigerator or a scientific paper, it is of the utmost importance to understand who the writing is meant to target. A message can only be conveyed if those who the message is being targeted towards are willing to receive it, and there is no exception in the realm of technology and scientific innovation. This idea is personified in both John Toon’s article for the Georgia Tech news center and Samantha Cole’s article for the popsci website which both regard an experiment seeking to replicate early land animal evolutionary movement by means of using a robot based on the mudskipper fish.

At a glance, it can be easily noticed that Cole is seeking to appeal to a more general audience who is seeking information more out of a desire to be entertained than to further build off of what is known and seek further innovation. This idea can be seen through the briefness of the article which simply states the goal of the experiment while glossing over the painstaking detail that was innate with regards to the construction and formation of this project. The briefness of this article is meant to keep the attention of the reader by not requiring too much critical thinking in order to observe the result of the lab. In addition to this, the presence of a gif in the article further helps to convey the ideas behind what is being written about by openly displaying the shocking similarities between the mudskipper fish and the robot. This helps to draw the eye of a more casual audience by using motion instead of words to explain the importance of the robot and its movement.

Toon’s article, however, more accurately reflects the academic nature of the institute it represents. This idea is made clear through Toon’s explanations behind all of the different branches of science that went into the creation of this work and how it borrowed ideas and concepts from physics, biology, and robotic science in order to mimic the movements of the mudskipper fish as well as the movements of early terrestrial life forms. The direct quotes from professors and those working on the project help to add validity to their work by explaining the approaches used in the creation of the project and the importance of their work. In addition, the listing of the numerous sources of funding for the creation of the project display the support that this work has from a multitude of credible organizations which appeals drastically to the academic community which is always seeking credible sources of reliable information.


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