How Authors Communicate With Readers

Authors use different types of communication to inform their readers on topics of interest. Authors use emotions, statistics and credibility to communicate issues to their audience. Some example of these techniques are, videos, pictures, charts and graphs or journal entries. Authors use these different techniques to present the issue of climate change in this analysis. In the following analysis of articles readers will understand the ways that authors communicate the issue of climate change and how it can convince readers of the arguments authors present.

Authors use emotional appeals in arguments to pull on the heart strings of the readers by sharing detailed pictures and videos on the issues. This makes readers feel connected to the problems. One example of this type of appeal is the video of the polar bear on Baffin Island. Paul Nicklen, a photographer and marine biologist in Canada, captures the video of the bear, slowly crawling across the dry hot land searching for food. In the beginning of the video he quotes “this is what a starving polar bear looks like” (National Geographic). This author uses emotional appeals and sad music to make readers feel connected to the issue. Readers see this once fluffy big bear, now so small that it can barely walk and they begin to understand that climate change is happening. Authors present information in ways that touch reader’s hearts and make them want to help. With this graphic video of the polar bear Nicklen uses emotions to present the issue of climate change.

Steven Amstrup from Polar Bears International wrote an essay on polar bears and climate change and presented the argument in an emotional way. Authors present information in different ways for readers to become educated on problems and using emotions is an easy way to get readers interested in the topic. In the article, Amstrup analyzes the drastic decreases in polar bears and how the rise of temperatures is affecting their environment and argue that if the temperatures keep rising there will be no more ice caps for the polar bears to survive off of and their population will continue to decrease and eventually become extinct. For example, Amstrup says, “The problem is that an ever-warmer future means polar bears will have less and less access to their seal prey, so the rate at which bears die from malnutrition/starvation will increase. So, regardless of the proximate cause of this bear’s condition, this heart-wrenching footage provides us with a warning about the future.” Amstrup uses emotional appeals throughout his article to make readers feel connected to the issue. With graphic pictures and quotes like, “this is what starvation looks like,” he emphasizes the problem of climate changes in ways that readers did not know they would be affected by (Amstrup). His argument is effective by the use of credible sources and his personal knowledge on the issue.
Anthony Pagano is a wildlife biologist with the U.S Geological Survey. In his article he focuses on the drastic changes in the weights of the polar bears in the Arctic and links it to climate change. For example, “One bear lost close to 44 pounds, including her lean muscle, in 10 days. This bear even leapt into the sea in a failed attempt to catch a seal swimming by, “She might have been desperate” Pagano stated. He performed experiments on the bears in the arctic and used his finding to explain that the rising temperatures are causing these problems. Steven Amstrup from Polar Bears International commented on Pagano’s article and together they concluded that the higher the temperatures, the more the polar bear population will decrease. They used emotional and logical appeals to represent their argument. For example, Amstrup says, “There’s no doubt that as the sea ice declines more and more bears are going to starve to death.” This is an example of how both authors used unmediated communication to get their point across. They determined the causes and effects and directly tell readers about the results in ways that are easy to understand.

Another way that authors communicate information to their audiences is through logical appeals and statistics. One example of ways that they present their information this way is in the experiments on the Mediterranean Islands and their reptile species. Johannes Foufopoulos, who has his phD from the University of Wisconsin studies, biology and ecology and did major research on global climate change and animal extinction. In his article he uses statistics and detailed numbers to represent climate change on the reptiles of the Mediterranean Islands. He studied over 35 species in over 87 islands and recorded his findings in this article. He used logical appeals to affect readers by giving strong, credible sources on the rise of climate change and the effects on the animal population. His evidence supports the findings that the northern species were most affected by the rise of climate change in the islands. Scientists for these experiments find this information by studying the environment and the sizes of the islands. For example, Foufopoulos states, “We hypothesized that if the current latitudinal distribution of species on the mainland reflects their sensitivity to climate conditions, then there should be a relationship between the latitudinal range of the 35 species and their extinction rates on Aegean Islands.” (122) So, in simpler terms, researchers experimented with southern and northern species and tried to determine if the ranges of the species correlated with their extinction rates. They determined that they were correlated and that “.. island populations of more- northern reptile species had higher extinction rates” (Foufopoulos, 125). Foufopoulos presented his argument in a credible and effective way by giving strong evidence of his findings. He found that 22 species were affected in northern islands and only 13 species were affected in the southern islands, and these findings support his statistical approach. He communicates the issue in a scientific way that helps readers have statistical evidence versus just opinionated information, like some articles give.

Although some authors have specific topics they use to communicate issues, other authors use multiple topics that all relate to the same big issue, like the domino effect. Ioannis Vogiatzakis is a professor at Open University of Cyprus, where he studies the ecology and biogeography of the Mediterranean Islands and much more. In his article he uses a different approach than previous authors, by giving various subtopics that climate change is affecting, and he presents them in a logical way to his audience. He used plant species, ecosystems, pollen, tree species and much more to present the issue of climate change. He doesn’t go into great detail on each topic, but rather uses them as examples of all of the different things that the rise of climate change is affecting. As supported in the previous article, Vogiatzakis says, “Northern Mediterranean Mountains might lose more species than southern mountains due to the existing adaption of the latter to drought and high temperatures”(Vogiatzakis 2614) He uses these statistics to supports the claim that northern islands are being more drastically affected than those islands in the south. Vogiatzakis supports his writing by credible sources and evidence found over time, then he uses this information to write an educational article on climate change.

Amanda Beckrich is an environmental science teacher and is the upper level assistant director at an Episcopal School in South Carolina. In her journal article The Green Room, she explains that the polar bears were the poster children for climate change, when really there are so many more species that were affected before. She uses an educational approach to presenting her information. She used simple terms that are easy for any reader to understand but she uses supporting evidence that makes her writing credible and dependable. She also uses supporting evidence from the Center for Biological Diversity that says, “... warming temperatures are causing quick and dramatic changes in the range and distribution of plants around the world. With plants making up the backbone of ecosystems…” She uses this credible source as support for her argument that not only polar bears are being affected but the animal population as a whole. Beckrich uses a more educational approach to present information to readers rather than an emotional or logical appeal like previous authors.

Lisa Feldkamp an author with Cool Green Science, and she writes an article on polar bears and if climate change will cause their species to die out. She used a different approach than other authors also. Instead of giving ways that climate change is affecting them she present different arguments on how polar bears can survive the change. She uses convincing points that draw readers into her ideas. Although she uses a different technique to present her argument her sources and ideas are just as credible as the previous ones. Information is communicated in this way because the author wants to give readers a different view on the issue of climate change and how it is affecting the animal population. She gives the thoughts on moving the bears to zoos, providing them sources of nutrition and migrating them north to antarctica as her argument on the effects of climate. Although the rise of temperatures are affecting the bears she gave these arguments as different solutions to fix the issue, and communicates her ideas in a more convincing way than others.

All of these authors have different ways of communicating and presenting their information. Some authors use emotions, some use statistics and others use opinions to convince their readers to side with them. For example Nicklen and Amstrup use emotions to convince their readers, and Pagano and Foufopoulos use logical appeals to affect their readers. Each article that is analyzed above is credible but some articles are more convincing than others and have more supporting claims. The video by Nicklen is most likely affects viewers the most because of the graphic view of the bears and how up close and personal you get to the issue. The above authors chose specific species to focus their argument around unlike Vogiatzakis who used the domino effect of species. Vogiatzakis presented his argument by using all types of species that are being affected and how they are all connected in some way. Then you have Beckrich who is a school teacher and presents the argument of smaller species being overlooked by scientists. She uses her educational background to inform readers on the other species that are affected. Lastly we have Feldkamp, who is a writer for an online science journal. She had a completely different approach for her argument. Rather than just stating the problem and the effects like some articles she presents solutions that could easily help stop the extinction of species. All of these authors use different communication techniques to present their arguments but they are all effective in their own ways.

In conclusion, authors communicated the problem of climate change in this analysis and affected readers in their own ways. This analysis shows that authors can present information in many different ways but be effective in all of them. These authors all have specific ways that they presented information on climate change, some using emotions, logic or ethics. All of the different modes of communication were helpful in supporting the authors in their arguments.


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