The hot rocks, called magma, and gases break through

The way a written piece of work
communicates information to the reader varies depending on what the purpose of
the text is and who is reading it. The writer must produce a piece of work
which satisfies the reader to be successful. The writer can also be anyone from
a newspaper journalist to a scientist, but their goals may be different even if
the subject they discuss is similar.

Voice – Formality and scientific terminology shown by source
1 is important for producing a piece of work which could change theories in
science and provide information to policy makers. Here the text is dry and hard
to read but does a good job at conveying the writer’s findings in full detail
which ensures its credibility. Meanwhile, source 2 demonstrates that when the
audience is the public, which encapsulates everyone of varying backgrounds,
then you must write in a way that entices and intrigues a majority. In this
source the writer uses simple language and short sentences to explain the
terminology so that anyone could understand it; “When hot rocks, called magma,
and gases break through the planet’s crust, an eruption occurs” (2). Source 3
shows the information is in more detail than source 2 but less than source 1
because the main intension of the writing is to educate university students
about volcanic hazards. It explains each hazard clearly and in detail with
relevant terminology but without too much scientific jargon. Hyperbole such as
“This catastrophic event” (3, p. 290) is used to liven the information delivery
so that it is easier to understand.

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Content – The volume of information in each text differs
greatly where source 1 illustrates extended amounts of detail and figures while
source 2 demonstrates a bare minimum. As stated, source 1 is a detailed review
discussing volcanic hazards and their mitigation with numerous examples and quantitative
measures. Source 1 has labelled sections talking about many aspects of the
inquiry such direct and indirect volcanic hazards, mitigation of high risk
volcanoes, hazard zonation and so forth. Likewise, source 3 contains examples
and is split into sections however there is much less detail on each hazard and
there are no comparisons with other hazards. “Buried the town of Armero 50 km
away, killing more than 25,000 people.” (3, p. 289) shows its use of
quantitative measures but has far less use than source 3. Source 2 contains
much less information than sources 1 and 3. It covers a wide range of provocative
topics on volcanoes in no order and in minimal detail while some major aspects of
volcanoes are missed out.

Structure – Source 2 is characterised by small punchy
paragraphs, short sentences and no sub-headings which makes it slightly
confusing. There is no introduction or conclusion which makes it feel like a
list of facts, further indicated by the short sentences; “There has been no VEI
8 eruption for 10,000 years.” (2). Alternatively, source 3 demonstrates the use
of sub-headings to organise the information and has consistently long
paragraphs. The paragraphs are spread around the page with diagrams filling in
the space. Furthermore, there is an introduction and each hazard is explained,
however there is no methodology or conclusion but it still flows well. Source 1
is different again since it follows a very rigid structure. It begins with an
abstract which is followed by the introduction, explanations of the hazards and
current mitigation strategies and their progress, outline of volcanic eruptions
in the 1980s, a review of the problems and challenges, a conclusion and
references. This type of structure is required in scientific journals unlike
sources 2 and 3 however, even though source 3 has no references the information
is reliable because the book must be peer reviewed before publishing.

Use of Images – Source 1 uses a mixture of tables, images and
diagrams. The images are of volcanic eruptions and their effects which are used
to support the examples and aid the discussion. The diagrams and tables display
evidence to back up the writer’s discussion and to keep the text organised and
well presented. Figure 2 (1, p. 7) is a map which helps to visualise the range
of dangers from the volcano and as proof to show this information was already
available to the authorities before the deadly eruption occurred. Source 3 only
used three figures of two tables and a diagram. Figure 12.25 (3, p. 290)
demonstrates where possible volcanic hazards would happen during an eruption
which is good for visualising and therefore aids memory. The use of the tables
is to indicate the lethality of the volcanoes and hazards which proves how
dangerous they are and that they need to be studied. Source 2 is different
because it has no images or diagrams. This creates some problems because for
this source it would be beneficial to have pictures to make the article more
exciting and make it stand out.

Use of Statistics – Source 2 has a very limited use
of statistics. It uses rounded up values which are close to actual figures but
not exact, however it does use dates frequently and accurately. These types of
numbers catch people’s attention making them want to read more. Furthermore,
there is a lack of hedging around these quoted numbers for example, “The
explosion produced 40 cu km of ash and killed 10,000 people” (2). This makes
the writer seem important and trustworthy even though it could be wrong.
Meanwhile, source 1 uses a substantial amount of statistics, especially in the
tables and graphs, where hedging has been used for most rounded-up figures. This
is all referenced, so the reader can find the original statistics if they want.
The use of this quantification is evidence which supports the writer’s work and
provides the reader with a scale. Finally source 3 uses statistics but on less
of a scale than source 1. This source is intended to teach and if there were
too many figures then it would be hard to learn from. Nevertheless, most of it
is hedged where there is margin for error to stay reliable for example, “surge
in velocity of about 50 mm/day lasting for 36 hours” (2, p. 290). These rounded
numbers are also more memorable which helps to reader remember the information.

To conclude, each source has a very
different approach to when it comes to communication styles. Source 1 is long
and detailed with a focus on information content and discussion about the
title. It uses long paragraphs backed up with figures and tables to teach the
reader about the writer’s ideas. Source 2 is different because it uses small
paragraphs filled with eye catching statements and facts to lure the reader in.
The information is very general, picking up on relatable subjects close to home
and uses very little hedging to sound more qualified. Finally, source 3 is a
textbook aimed at educating students. It does this by making the content
memorable with images, some quantification, different page layouts and
sub-headings. Each source has a totally different audience and purpose which is
seen by the stark contrast in the way they communicate their information.