The adequate knowledge of discipline-specific language skills and strategies, as well as the use of conventions, is fundamental for providing proper writing to inform or educate the targeted audience. The three articles by Epstein, Hopton, and Katzman, discuss the issue of eating disorders, specifically anorexia nervosa. As such, Katzman’s article belongs to natural sciences, namely medicine, as it investigates medical complications in adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Epstein’s work, a newspaper article, can be associated with humanities because it reveals the personal experience with such a disorder and touches upon some psychological aspects the issue provokes. Finally, Hopton’s article, which is based on the historical and epidemiological findings, as well as the influence of the media on body perceptions, can refer to the social sciences.
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The analyzed articles also have distinct features concerning the language, style, and format of the text. The title of Katzman’s literacy work reports the main subject of the paper. The article has a definitive abstract, and it strongly adheres to the basic principles of scientific writing. In addition, the author used linguistic devices, known as hedges, such as “relatively, approximately, may, it is assumed, it is believed, to our knowledge, from our point of view.” As a rule, the style of medical writing is impersonal and involves commonly used “objective orientations” (Yang et al, p. 7). The article’s discipline is primarily defined by unique medicine-related terminology as the main topics discussed include cardiovascular complications, refeeding syndrome, linear growth osteoporosis, and structural and functional brain changes.
With regard Epstein’s article in The New York Times, it presents an interview conducted with a nurse, where she shares her personal experience linked to the issue of eating disorder. Therefore, the paper includes direct speech and the author’s observations and is written in the news report format. It is important to note that newspapers have particular and, sometimes, manipulating writing strategies to attract a reader. The language style is concise and informal. Such an article complies with key newspapers’ aspects, such as timeliness, proximity, prominence, uniqueness, influence, and conflict. The article’s discipline can be determined by the use of visual aids, such as a photo of the interviewed woman, and the introductory sentence that reveals the subject discussed in the article. Based on this article, journalists apply more process-oriented strategies and use language, as the primary source and determining factor that stimulates communication or reporter’s imperatives to the consumer.
Hopton’s article can be perceived as the combination of both previously analyzed materials. This scholarly journal article is written in the format of the review paper and based on the present wide range of studies concerning epidemiological and etiological research on anorexia nervosa. The writing structure is presented as a logical consequence of the research process. It involves descriptive and extensive abstract, guidelines, and scientific writing, as well as relevant findings related to the examined area. The general format, including the information in tables and research analysis, indicates the article’s discipline. Santos and Santos state that “clarity, simplicity, and accuracy” are crucial for the enhancement of writing (p. 11). The sentences of Hopton’s article are brief, clear, and direct; the wording is comprehensible yet formal and carefully structured. The author managed to convey clear ideas and arguments that are easy to follow. With that said, despite the medical nature of the analyzed subject, all three articles relate to different areas of study that can be indicated by the language strategies and writing styles the authors applied.
- Epstein, Randi Hutter. “When Eating Disorders Strike in Midlife.” The New York Times. 2009. Web.
- Hopton, Elizabeth. “Anorexia Nervosa in Adolescent Girls: A Culture-Bound Disorder of Western Society?” Social Cosmos, vol. 2, 2011, pp. 176-183.
- Katzman, Debra K. “Medical Complications in Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa: A Review of the Literature.” International Journal of Eating Disorders, vol. 37, 2005, pp. S52–S59.
- Santos, José António C., and Santos, Margarida Custódio. “Strategies for writing a research paper.” Tourism & Management Studies, vol. 11, no. 1, 2015, pp. 7–13.
- Yang, An et al. “Epistemic Modality in English-Medium Medical Research Articles: A Systemic Functional Perspective.” English for Specific Purposes, vol. 38, 2015, pp. 1–10.