Scientific Article: Can You Build A Better Brain

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Presenting scientific information to the lay public is difficult and one reason is the difference between popular or as sometimes called topical articles and peer reviewed or as sometimes called scientific articles. A popular article is written for a wide audience, while the peer reviewed article that appears in a scientific journal is targeted to a narrow audience in the scientific fields. This paper focuses on two different articles about the same subject – keeping the brain healthy and young through exercise. One article appeared in Newsweek and the other appeared in a peer reviewed journal. The Newsweek article, “Can You Build a Better Brain” by Sharon Begley, is written for a wide audience (Begley, 2011). The article
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It’s almost as if the topical article says something at the top of the article, but it really means something else by the end. The topical article presents an interesting headline, but the article itself is not really about physical activity being related to positive brain growth and retention. The topical article is about all the things that can improve brain function in aging. It is really about all the things you can do to keep your brain from melting away when you become old such as playing brain games. The Begley article mentions so many things that can help you that it reads like a transcript after a visit from your mom or older sister. Begley advises to eat more vitamins, change to a Mediterranean diet, engage in physical exercise, read as much as you can, have a happy life with many friends, and the list of homilies continue (Begley 2011). By spreading out to cover all things, Begley article is like a shotgun blast.
Kramer and his co-writers point a rifle at the readers. The scope is narrow, pointed, and serious. The scientific article is like a trip to your doctor about a specific condition – your rotator cuff is torn, therefore you need shoulder surgery. When it comes time for a final conclusion, the science article has a concrete conclusion as
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A number of reasons exist. Scientific journals are written for others in the same scientific field or allied fields. Topical stories in the popular media sources are meant to entertain first and then possibly inform, but always to support ratings or sales. The Newsweek article “Can You Build a Better Brain” exists to provide light, easily understandable information to the lay public. Newsweek writes to a wide audience, while articles appearing in Journal of Applied Physiology are written expressly for other highly educated members of that particular field of study. In this pattern, Begley seeks the widest audience and fires her thoughts wide like the proverbial shotgun. This is not a failing on her part, just a reality. Newsweek has a payroll to meet and stockholders to pay. Newsweek can’t do this writing at master’s level of English about a narrow

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