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Genre Analysis Outline

Karla Janet Madriles- Ortiz
University of Texas at El Paso



What? (General topic): The dispute has been an often criticized act called No Child Left
Behind. Since its release in 2002, it caused debates because of growing federal
government's interference with K- 12 education. The act required standardized tests with
an extreme emphasis on Math and Reading, diminishing the students' and instructors'

Title, genre, author, or company (of each):
1. No Child Left Behind Comic by David Horsey of the Seattle PostIntelligencer. Published on March 5, 2004. The genre is iconographical. The main
argument from the comic encompasses the idea that there is too much focus on
standardized testing causing a slow destruction of the students love for learning
and ability to be creative, through liberal arts programs.
2. Crash Test by Nate Blakeslee published on May 2013 on the Texas Monthly
Magazine. The genre is typographical. The dominant topic of the article is a
revolution created by parents and teachers who claim that classroom instruction
time is being replaced by the high demands of standardized testing. The new
STAAR test has the capability of holding back and failing students. Additionally,
End of Course exams can cause the inability to move schools or apply to colleges
if the scores are low.

Describe the structure and mode of delivery, comment on style:

1. How is the information shaped by the genres? (Limitations/ freedoms of space,
time, layout, audience):
a. No Child Left Behind Comic image is a common classroom that has no
particular sign of a specific race, religion, or economic situation. The year
of publication is three years after 2001, the signing year of the act No


Child Left Behind, symbolizing a quick failure and urge to action avoid
what the education system was turning into. The audience can be assumed
to be parents who read the posts of a newspaper online and have the ability
to speak and repeal the act. Parents are able to influence the educational
officials and leaders into different systems.
b. Crash Test includes paragraphs full of information for a general
audience however, the targets are those who are involved in public
education such as parents, teachers, or alumni. The year of publication was
2013 during the release of the STAAR test which caused commotion
among school administrators, students, and parents due to the emphasis to
pass the new exams or fail the whole grade. Since that release, Texans
became more inspired to take action, thus, causing the author to explain
important expenditures taking place because of the tests.
2. How are the genres organized? (Strategic layout, design, visual texts):
a. No Child Left behind was a clear image that took up a whole quadrant
in order to exaggerate a situation that is very commonly seen in
classrooms. The first side being students being induced with two very
common subjects, Reading and Math, through pipes that lead into brain
receptor bowls, while they simultaneously take a standardized test. The
test takers appear to be anxious and frustrated with cold frowning faces.
They are only taught what will be on the test and have side covering
boards to prevent any peeking into other subjects. The second side
demonstrates a student trying to go outside the window into the Art,
Science and Physical Education section, but what appears to be a
combination of a government official and teacher is encouraging the


student to do what everyone is doing, otherwise she is left behind. The

liberal arts subjects are outside, because is something thats so natural to
us human beings, and yet so ignored by the education coordinators.
b. Crash Test is a multi-paged article with only one image and the rest
being a well written article and summarization of an interview. The layout
gives the hint right off that it is no research passage due to the lack of
graphs, tables, and images. The information is plenty across the article and
has no clear dividing sections, making it easy to get confused. However,
the article does go in order of explaining what the No Child Left Behind
reform is and the beginning of the STAAR test. It continues into
explaining expenditures, eventually to the standards required by tests and
a comparison into those of other states, later turning into arguments of the
defenders of the test which are quickly taken down by opponents of
3. What other communication features? (Vocabulary, formal/ informal language,
visual, colors, fonts)
a. No Child Left Behind Comic display formal language from a teacher to
student through the line of Come away from the window! You dont want
to be a child left behind, do you? (Horsey, 2004) The side of students
who are taking the test and prevented from looking around in order to
avoid any opposing change, have a dull color scheme. The colors display a
highly mechanistic system, where it can be inferred that rules are strictly
followed because the teacher encourages that sort of order. Furthermore,
she has a smile on her face as she tells the student to go back to test taking
mode, in which she can probably think shes doing the right thing when


actually shes only fortifying the strictly organized testing system. On the
second side, outside the window where other subjects can be found, the
colors are brighter and the child trying to get seems ready to jump out,
desperate for the knowledge out there. The font is commonly seen in
comics, thus, displaying a form of ridiculing something so valued to
Americans, which is education.
b. Crash Test displays no colors, and only one visual which is a student
sitting on a desk whose face is covered by a large stack of papers which
can be inferred to be standardized exams. The font is formal because it is
an article published on a well- respected magazine and includes a

summarized interview with a professional.

Conclude by briefly describing the similarities and/or differences between the
genres: The comic image and the article share con view towards the topic of standardized
testing. Both genres agree upon a slave like education system. The differences emerge
through the perspectives of the genres. The comic seems to be from the point of view of
students, showing their frustrations and the only subjects they are allowed to learn, while
the article leans more towards the side of instructors, parents, and educational officials.
Secondly, the comic is very general regarding the No Child Left Behind, displaying the
essence of what the tests are causing at an early stage from its signing, while the article
gives detailed description of the history that the act has had upon public schools. The
details include areas of economical, psychological, and sociological and their comparison
to other states and countries. The comic is very symbolic of where the real scene taking
place, the classroom, disregarding what officials and parents are doing about it, the ones


soaking the experience are the students. The article in the other hand, explored what was
outside the classroom and how the system works.

Intended audience and discourse communities: The comic and article have an
audience of parents and teachers, because they are the ones who can raise their voice and
take action into changing the educational system. The discourse community is the school
system and braches that expand within it, including the designers of curriculums,
instructors, district officials, and of course the governments interference from the grade

levels K- 12.
Purpose of the information from genres? (Inform, persuade, entertain): Even though
the comic is ridiculing the educational system, neither genre is meant to entertain. The
comic is an image that must be looked at carefully to inform parents, who are not in the
classroom, to take a look for themselves into the stressing world of standardizes testing
and the causes of their sons and daughters poor education. The article, based on its length
and eloquent vocabulary, its meant for adults to be informed of a system that manages

public schools and how it is handled.

How does the audience tie in to the purpose? Encourage awareness? Convince or
think differently?: Both genres are giving an idea of what standardized testing is doing
to students and to teachers, however, not much action is being taken about it, thus
encouraging to the audience to change their mind about exams. Parents and teachers have
everything to do with the educational system, both groups must pay to get good results,
instead they have little to no signs of an expanded knowledge, requiring images and list

of facts of what is happening in the classrooms.

Similarities/ differences?: Both genres are trying to generate awareness and leap for
action into since they are targeting the same audience.


Rhetorical Issues: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

Informations Credibility:
a. No Child Left Behind Comic was created by a political cartoon artist
who often posts on an online newspaper, regarding many transcending
topics. David Horsey has been working for decades and make clear
symbolism through the use of images. Based on this career information,
the comic can be assured to credible.
b. Crash Tests was published on a magazine called Texas Monthly, which
has also been on going for many years and is not afraid to touch
controversial subjects, but still keeping a formal set. In conclusion, the

professional scheme of this source may be trusted.

Emotional Response:
a. No Child Left Behind was a comic that evokes little emotions, by
creating a sense of pity for students who are not able to explore other
subjects and are instead absorbing over and over the same Reading, Math,
and Writing skills. Students are lacking Science, Physical Education, Art,
and Foreign Languages creating a sense of depression within the image.
b. Crash Tests has no emotional response. The article is very formal and
written for those who are really interested into finding out what the topic
is really about in depth. The passage creates no anger or fury, its just

information worth knowing for further situations.

What types of evidence are used to support claims?:
a. No Child Left Behind uses only an image that can be seen by students
and make them relate.
b. Crash Tests uses evidence from groups who oppose the test and where
their back up information comes from, naming several books and articles.
Additionally, it names several organizations related to creating the tests
and how they spend money on buying these supplies.


Missing any appeals?:

a. No Child left Behind missed those logical arguments, however, its
purpose is not diminished since the message is still clear. Parents and
instructors can still see the side of the classroom they usually dont.
b. Crash Tests reveals no pathos, and that lacks some attention or impact
on the audience. The parents may still have little understanding to what
goes on in the classroom and why action should be taken, since the
relation to the student is not as clearly stated and they are going through

stress and anxiety.

Similarities/ Differences?: The comic has a clear sense of pathos that the article
lacks. However, the article has more logic imprinted than the comic which can
only provide the present situation, but lacks the background information.

Achieve purpose? How?:

a. The comic achieved its purpose. It is a clear image where the
viewer can successfully be placed on the students shoes in the
classroom. The image has ethos and pathos, although the ethos are
not very clear at first sight.
b. The article has clear ethos and logos, but lacks pathos. The article
has a long passage and is mild difficult to read. Readers might lose
track and be easily not interested in the article, because it shows
not an exact connection to the classroom to have a potential

relation to pathos.
Which genre is more effective? Why?: The most effective genre is the comic,
because it is simple to interpret and feel pity for the students, while the article is
plentiful of information, its harder to interpret follow through. The passage takes


time to be read and absorb what the system is doing with the education. The

comic is straight and forward, giving the viewer the essence of public schools.
Final comments: The genres are not perfectly balances, but both have a purpose
and message that they clearly put through their audience. Both genre raise
awareness but only one can do it quicker and make one relate to their old school
testing days.

APA Format:
a. Horsey, D. (2004, March 5) No Child Left Behind. [Cartoon]
Seattle Pi. Retrieved from
b. Blakeslee, N. (2013, May). Crash Test. Texas Monthly Magazine.
65, 124- 128.