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Example research essay topic: How Campus Notices Achieve Their Communicative Purpose - 2,702 words

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How campus notices achieve their communicative purpose Every University in Great Britain just like any other educatory place in the world is a place where people communicate with each other sharing knowledge in the form of opinions, thoughts, and ideas. On the other hand these sources of information can be distributed among the inhabitants of such system via visual, audio or tactile channels. It is a well known fact that in order for a message of any kind to leave a trace in somebodys mind, it has to be attractive, scary, or persuasive. Also it might possibly be originated from someone we respect or know well or presented certain logical facts that each of the students would find irrefutable and comply. In other words the use of logos, pathos and ethos is obligatory. The messages depending on their type can be very context specific (messages that warn or prohibit) or context loose (informative, instructive).

The messages that one can spot around any university, high school or even a work place can be broadly divided into three main groups: messages that inform, messages that warn, messages the instruct, and messages that prohibit. In the following essay I will attempt to touch on each type of these messages found on the university campus, express the cause behind them as well as present my opinion on the given subject. I will list the messages I found on the university campus and having divided them into those 4 categories will present in this paper as well. Messages that inform This type of message is intended to give the viewer (or listener) an explanatory idea of what is going on campus. The message tries usually to facilitate, for instance the search process of the ways around campus, tells about easier ways to register for classes, what parties are thrown on or off campus. It can tell about better ways to lose weight, gain muscles, or avoid STDs etc., without telling the person that he/she has to follow them. Usually this type of message follows the 4W and 1H and is rather easy to understand.

Some of the messages of informative nature indeed serve as instructive, yet are presented in a very nice and polite form. They dont as a rule have any urgency in them, yet can serve as substitutes in the form of various hints to mitigate the severity of the messages that warn and not cause panic on campus. These types of messages are context dependent and express a lot of specification (Coulthard, 1994). At the same time the writer of these messages assumes about the readers to possess certain degree of intelligence and adequate memory that is referred to as the momentary memory. The writer of this message subsequently believes that this type of message will penetrate the brain of an individual and leave a trace in the long term memory. For instance a message that informs the students of the upcoming school championship in football (Question What?) mentions the place (question Where?), as well mentions the time (When?) and price (How much?). Messages that inform do not expect the reader to immediately answer to them (unlike context dependent warning or prohibiting messages) yet are to remain in their heads. Some of the messages of informative nature that I saw on campus were the following: The registration for sophomore classes ends on July 10th, 2002 at 6:00pm The computer labs are available for research use only Smoking kills Milk does your body good Manchester is the football team our university supports! The University gym works Hours 6:00am-11:00pm, seven days a week. Education is the fastest path to your future career success.

John Welch loves Martha Steward (graffiti on one of the female dormitories on campus) Sigma Alpha Psi fraternity is throwing a keg party on this coming Friday. The price is $5/person I would give a ride to someone to San Antonio during the winter break. Feel free to contact me for more information. Wearing a condom while having sex drastically reduces the risk of getting STD or unnecessary pregnancy. The library will close in 20 minutes (informative, yet politely prompts the person to certain action regarding the leaving the library) Messages that Warn This type of messages besides caring certain informative aspects in them have their main intention to warn individuals of certain things that might or might not happen. Usually they stipulate certain reply from the viewer or listeners.

The tone of these messages depending on the severity of the on going process can vary from very polite to rather harsh and always coconsciously prompts people for certain actions. Usually the warning messages are accompanied by the exclamation sign to make the reader aware of the graveness of the given message. Usually such messages bear a condition that stipulates a warning result if that condition is not met. The condition can be in the form of a hint (Something is bad for you.so dont do it) or direct statement (If you do this.this will happen to you). As can be seem from this structure the messages that warn is also context dependent on the conditional basis (Coulthard, 1994). The writer assumes that the readers of this message possess very little intelligence (necessary step to cover as larger the audience as possible), and for the most part the message is intended to cause momentary reaction. Yet in certain message structures, the latent reaction in people can be caused (Johnatan, 2000).

For instance the first message Alcohol is poison, it kills students is a perfect example of context dependent message aimed at the students long-term memory. Being a student and going to a party you subconsciously remember the ifthen (if you drink poison you die) scheme and resist alcohol-related peer pressure. Some of the messages that Warn I saw on my campus are the following: Alcohol is a poison, it kills students Rape is a crime that leads to prison, wanna go there? Anthrax is very dangerous! Having a disease and not reporting it to the doctor will ultimately kill you! The terrorists can attack our campus at any time! Drink only from the bottle that you opened! There are many cases when illegal drugs are being input in the alcohol to seduce campus females for unwanted sexual relations. If you dont pay your tuition promptly you will be deprived of the right to register for further classes If you dont sign up for the winder break housing, you will not be given a place to live during the Christmas STD is very contagious, wear a condom! Grizzly Bears are dangerous animals that one can spot when hiking or skiing. Drinking and driving is a fast and certain way to your last trip to the grave! Are your parents ready to bear it? Messages that Instruct This type of message intends to show less urgency than the messages that warn type and are usually intended to make the students learn something useful. The concept of ethos and logos are used widely in this type of messages hitting the logical and respect centers of the students brain.

Usually the messages that instruct are seen in the form of advertisements or commercials that our school uses to collect money, run a fund raising program or to stimulate the book purchase in the student book store. Sometimes, the messages that instruct can be seen as algorithms to solving various problems or questions. The message is meant to instruct, and, therefore, does not entail any possible disciplinary actions should the person fails to adhere to them. Message that instruct are the messages that are the most context dependent (Jaworski, 1999), for the fact that they require certain form of feedback from the person, be it verbal or non-verbal. The writer of this message as a rule does not expect much intelligence from the reader (once again it is absolutely necessary for a person to remember simple instructions in the simple language) in order to leave a long trace in the long term memory. This type of message targets almost always the long term memory, thus making the instructive message context depending with the simple language (Jaworski, 1999).

The instructive messages are intended for anyone (to avoid discrimination) understand them literally and contextually and by following the simple steps to achieve expected (or stipulated in the message) results. The examples of the Messages that Instruct that I saw on campus can be of the following nature: Please wear safety glasses for your protection when working in the chemistry lab Professor Rogers prefers to see the campus full of students who are business minded. Show him your business drive! If you fell a victim to rape or sexual assault follow these simple rules: Try to cause as much noise as possible to scare the offender. Tell him that you have some deadly contagious disease Suppress the offender psychologically by telling phrases that might cause his subconscious triggers to sedate his sexual drive. The remarks regarding the offenders insufficient size, deadly smell, or impotence can cause temporary bewilderment of the offender that might give you an opportunity to escape. Do not hesitate to use curse words, your own force and the common objects as weapons to resist the offender. Remember it is your life that is at stake! If the act of rape or sexual offense occurred you are advised to memorize the offender well and immediately report to the police authorities to prevent the offender from committing similar crimes to your friends.

In order to complete your Java project, the student has to read the book Java today and study the questions at the end of each chapter How to do BSE (a self-exam). Message found in the female shower room. Check your breasts about one week after your period. Firmly press with the pads of your fingers. Move your left hand over your right breast in a circle Now check your left breast with your right hand in the same way. If there are any lumps, knots, or changes, tell your doctor right away.

How to do TSE (a self-exam). Message found in the male shower room. Check your testicles once a month. Roll each testicle between your thumb and finger in a rotational motion. Feel for hard lumps or bumps If you notice a change or have aches or lumps, tell your doctor right away so something can be done about it. In order to pass this course a student needs to take two exams, present two presentations and give an oral report on the topic of his choice Do not use Viagra to impress the object of your passion.

Rather do sports! (Message found in the leaflet in the student health center.) The Desk clerks main responsibilities are to secure the dorms as well as answer numerous questions of the various customers. Please read the Desk Clerk Manual for further questions Messages that prohibit This type of message usually gives the reader a direct instruction of what she or he is not supposed to do on the territory of the university campus. The manner of expression can be very specific and sometime not at all polite. The message uses the all three types of influences, namely logos, pathos, and ethos to achieve its purpose. The reader is supposed to understand clearly what the message tries to say and has to follow it. Usually the messages that prohibit mention the disciplinary actions that will be taken should the person fails to comply with them.

The major purpose of the messages that prohibit is to benefit the public good of the university or any public facility and to prevent other people from various dangers that might result out of their constant neglect. This type of messages is thought not to be context dependent for the fact that it is rather impossible to literary express everything in a very short notice. It is for this reason, the message despite very simple language uses a lot of generalizations that are targeted to ensure that the reader of this message clearly understands that very message and the stipulating consequences (if such are written). The writer of this message type believes that the reader is somewhat intelligent to grasp generalizations expressed in the messages and to follow with a certain respond (Hoey, 2001). Some of the messages that prohibit that I saw on campus can be seen below. The message is rather straight-forward.

You may not throw absolutely any paper in the sink! It is not a toilet! Drinking on campus is strictly prohibited. The violators will be expelled from school No animals are allowed in the campus dorms! No graffiti are allowed anywhere on the territory of the University campus. We punish plagiarism! Do not use any persons work without proper references, if you want to get a good grade in your English 203 class assignments Do not put color paper in the copying machine! It will jam! Absolutely no weapons on the territory of the university campus! You cannot have more than 3 people of the opposite sex staying in your dorm room overnight. A student is not allowed to propagate any indecent material concerning sex, perversions, alcohol, drugs, or weapons any where on the territory of the University. In conclusion I would like to say that the universities everywhere in the world use the messages of all natures (messages that instruct, messages that inform, messages that prohibit, messages that warm) rather effectively. Although there are many messages regarding prohibition of drinking on campus, one can hardly see a drunken person on our campus.

Certain messages that still exist on campus are the result of the past negative experiences that occurred on campus, yet in order to prevent their further recurrence, these messages still remain there. I truly like the idea of posting messages like that on the university campus in order to learn something new for myself and to avoid unnecessary problems. The use of language in these messages is for the most part literal and straight forward. Messages that are intended to illicit prompt response are highly context dependent and do not expect the reader to have much intelligence. Overall, I have noticed on the university campus the messages of the simple literary nature and high context dependence that are intended for everyones literary understanding to avoid the unnecessary questions with double meaning or slang-all messages are free of that! Furthermore, once you follow the messages you make your life and the life of your campus-mates much easier and funnier! The use of such messages also helps us to understand the problems that the university might be having at the moment and it should serve as an informal indicator of the university culture and life for any freshman. For instance if there are too many messages that prohibit something, it might mean that the university has been experiencing the given problems in the past and still might be experiencing them at present.

If the messages are most informative, one can conclude that the university staff cares about its inhabitants and does its best to facilitate the lives of the students there. As a summary I would like to say that messages are a rather useful tool to deliver your thoughts and ideas and for the most part should be written in a way of high context dependence and assumption that the reader is a 7-year old child. This would certainly eliminate any ambiguity that some messages might have and if not elicit prompt response at least would make your certain that the reader had understood them properly. I personally, truly benefited from the instructive and informative messages during my first year on the university campus when I was fully immersed in the fast-paced school life. Bibliography: 1)Bloor, T. and M.Bloor 1995 "The Functional Analysis of English", London: Arnold 2)Cook, G. 1989 "Discourse", Oxford: Oxford University Press 3) Coulthard, M.

1994 "Advances in Written Text Analysis", London: Routledge 4)Hoey, M.2001 "Textual Interaction: an introduction to written discourse analysis", London: Routledge 5) Jaworski, A. and Coupland, N.(eds)1999 "The Discourse Reader", Lodon: Routledge 6) McCarthy, M 1991 "Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers", Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 7) ELT Journal.

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Research essay sample on How Campus Notices Achieve Their Communicative Purpose

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