Journals are an important source of information that can provide individuals with facts, data, or knowledge they need to improve the understanding of a particular aspect or issue. However, during the research, it is critical to take into account the fact that there are various types of works preconditioned by their unique features and the credibility of the information they offer to readers. From the generalized point of view, there are professional journals written for a specific audience and non-professional ones that are designed in a way that will be understood by the broad audience. This differentiation stipulates the use of various writing styles, data sets, and methods to provide facts to individuals. The given divergence will be illustrated using two journals belonging to this cohort and revolving about the problem of sexual assault.
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Analyzing the professional journal article, the five distinctive features should be outlined. First of all, there is a clear description of the targeted audience affected by the discussed problem. For instance, the author states that “people with cognitive and/or physical disabilities are at a higher risk for sexual assault compared with nondisabled people” (Oldham, 2016, p. 43). It helps to narrow the research and acquire credible information about the investigated phenomenon. The second feature is the use of reliable resources to evidence major assumptions made by the author. In the professional paper, the investigator refers to other peer-reviewed studies and statistics “studies estimate that 80% of women with disabilities have been sexually assaulted” (Oldham, 2016, p. 43). It makes arguments more relevant and increases their practical utility.
The third characteristic is the employment of existing, dominant, and the most effective paradigms to reveal the problem and how it can be solved. For instance, Oldham (2016) enumerates all approaches to the examination of victims of sexual assault and emphasizes their importance for the improvement of the situation. Moreover, another peculiarity of a professional journal article is the focus on a certain solution, effective method, or other interventions to achieve positive shifts and guarantee better results. In the paper, the author underlines the necessity to adhere to currently existing guidelines to avoid the deterioration of patients’ state (Oldham, 2016). Finally, all professional articles can be differentiated from non-professional ones by style. The researchers adhere to the academic writing model and offer only facts, without unnecessary speculations or inappropriate stylistic devices. It helps to remain concentrated on the issue and find the needed information faster.
As for the non-professional magazine article, it also has its unique features. First of all, it is a broad scope of the problem as an author writes for various audiences and does not know their background knowledge. For instance, Rosen (2018) offers a background of the problem of sex assault and revolves around a wide selection of facts related to, it including social media, changes in people’s mentalities, and society. It helps to make the work more interesting for non-professionals. The second feature is the use of emotionally colored sentences, which is inappropriate for academic writing. For example, the statement “And change they did, with a vengeance”, is used to attract readers’ attention to the provided information (Rosen, 2018). The third feature is the attempt to engage people in the discussion of the problem by asking direct questions “But what about America’s most glamorous early feminist, Gloria Steinem?” (Rosen, 2018, p. 15). This approach is used to make readers concentrate on the provided information and offered facts. Another characteristic is the lack of factual evidence to support some assumptions, as they can be too complex for the broad population. Rosen (2018) offers some ideas, not referring to statistics or some other numbers. Finally, the writing style of the non-professional paper is different, as the author uses many epithets and other stylistic devices.
Reading professional nursing journals, a nurse gets several advantages. First, she/he acquires credible and relevant information, including statistics and numbers, that helps to remain informed about a particular issue. Second, all pieces of data that are offered by the author can be used in new research as their authenticity is high, and some other researchers are proving it. Finally, by reading professional nursing journals, a specialist can promote his/her professional development as the newest methods or approaches to managing a certain state or issue are discussed.
As for reading common magazine articles, there are several disadvantages related to it. First of all, a nurse will not be able to find credible information needed for the investigation or research. Second, this sort of source is not considered trustworthy enough to be used in any research or evidence-based practice. For this reason, there is a need for data verification before the further use of this data. Finally, it might be too time-consuming for a specialist to read the whole paper looking for some data that might be needed.
Altogether, the given features of professional and non-professional journals precondition the existence of various target audiences and purposes for which these sources are used.
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Oldham, J. (2016). Understanding sexual assault. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy! 14(6), 42-49.
Rosen, C. (2018). The reckoning. Sex and work in an age without norms. Commentary, 13-19.