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Michael Farris Monica Aksamit Basic Rhetorical Analysis of Science Fair Project Booklet July 5, 2011

The purpose of this document is to assess the effectiveness of a booklet published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December of 2000. This book focuses on creating projects in order to help solve the problem of solid waste. Addresses particular readers The EPA does an effective job targeting its audience using a variety of ways. Within the first three pages the audience is clearly stated. On Page 2 the booklet explains each of the two categories. Teachers and students are informed of their responsibility with the booklet. The students age group is also clearly mentioned as middle school students, from grades 6-8. The language in this booklet is appropriate for its audience. For the middle schoolers with less education, it uses only basic scientific terms, and makes sure that everything is clearly explained. With the use of only basic terms, it ensures that its audience understands everything. Appropriate terms were used throughout the booklet. Another nice thing that was done was that it included a glossary. This was provided in case a student didnt understand a word. I dont find this necessary, but it was a nice just in case. The language was clear and concise throughout, which is probably the best method to use with this specific age group. The images and use of bright orange color keep the student interested rather than bored with the content. In order to make sure that the audience isnt intimidated by the information, the EPA used fun fonts, color and images.
Help Readers Solve Problems

While it is true that this booklet is very well written for its audience, the information isnt sufficient. The EPAs goal is mentioned and explained, and they also do a great job of addressing its audience. As mentioned, they kept their audience in mind throughout. However, they could have written more in regards to the actual desired project. The booklet provides ideas for the projects, but it doesnt explain how to actually go about the creation. Directions are certainly lacking. An explanation of the scientific method is given and how to make a hypothesis is addressed after the brief explanation of the project. Following this is how to draw a conclusion, though this isnt enough. After thoroughly explaining the scientific method, it is expected to have a detailed how-to as well. The booklet does a good job explaining the suggested projects though. With each sample project idea is a detailed explanation of how to go about doing that project. It also addresses the financial aspect, with consideration that middle school students and the secondary audience, parents do have a budget.
Reflect an Organizations Goals and Culture

The EPAs goal is clearly stated on page 5 within a caption. Aside from this, the main text explains one of the EPAs plans, the 3 Rs. Throughout the booklet, the scientific pictures further solidify their goal. I feel that nothing more could have been done in this matter due to the

fact that it has to remain student friendly. Explaining their goal in greater detail would have only distracted their young audience.
Produced Collaboratively

This booklet wasnt necessarily produced collaboratively. I do strongly believe that a professional was involved, but its not certain whether it was more than one. The layout is done very well, suggesting the idea of a professional. Its not impossible that this was created by a group. The booklet is very relevant to its users, which leaves room for a collaboration in order to ensure that this is kept in mind the whole time.
Use Design to Increase Readability

The design of this booklet is certainly user-friendly. Though this is a very serious project by a fairly serious corporation, they still make sure that its still fun. The organization is done logically which makes the booklet flow smoothly. There are images found on every single page of this booklet which adds some life to it. However, these images dont necessarily help explain anything further. They seem to be there purely for decoration purposes and nothing more. In my opinion, they only used these images to appeal to a younger crowd. The bright orange color was most likely used to grab peoples attention. Its hard to miss booklet with the colors and images used. Another reason they may have chosen this orange color is to make the science aspect of it a little more appealing. The orange color is fun and is better than regular black and white. However, considering that this project is relevant to being environment friendly, a better choice would have been green. This also relates to the images that they used as decoration. It also most likely is to keep the students attracted and prevent them from getting bored.
Consist of Words, Graphics or Both

The booklet includes both words and graphics. There is some sort of graphic located on every page. Sometimes these graphics arent at all related to the neighboring text. The graphics seem to have been meant to only appeal to their audience, and not necessarily support the content. In my opinion, this booklet would have been very dull without these graphics and that they were a necessity. Recommendation The content was ideal and the language remained within 6-8 graders knowledge, and even provided a glossary just in case. The corporations goal is clearly stated, and it even directly addresses its readers. While the content isnt all that interesting, the booklet increases its appeal with the use of fun fonts, fun images, and lively color. It isnt sure whether the booklet was composed collaboratively or by a single person, but either one is an absolute possibility. A few changes could certainly be made in order to improve this booklet. For example, they could have cited their sources. Also, while there is a glossary included, nothing is included in the text to suggest this. A glossary is meant to aid a reader in understanding the content. They could have bolded or italicized words that are found in the glossary when they are used in the text. Also, the directions on how to go about doing the actual project could have been described better.