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Rhetorical Analysis Of Timothy Quinn's Article

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Rhetorical Analysis of Timothy Quinn's article "Coyote (Canis latrans) Food Habits in Three Urban Habitats Types of Western Washington"

In the book Engaging Inquiry, Judy Kirscht and Mark Schlenz detail the specifications of a scientific article. They speak about what each section should contain and what questions each section should answer. The article "Coyote (Canis latrans) Food Habits in Three Urban Habitats Types of Western Washington" was written by Timothy Quinn, a graduate student at the University Of Washington. Quinn follows the K and S model for writing a scientific article. Although he dose deviate from the set model by adding sections in which he feels are important and not completely addressing questions that should have been raised in others, this paper still upheld a scientific standard over all.

According to K and S the title should not be rhetorical rather it should be descriptive, that is, titles are designed to give information, not to attract attention (K and S 33). Quinn's title of his article, "Coyote (Canis latrans) Food Habits in Three Urban Habitats Types of Western Washington," (Quinn 89) is not descriptive in any means. It dose not invite the reader to read it, but what it dose do is completely inform the reader to what the article is going to be about. Quinn includes intricate details that inform his audience what the article is going to entail such as using the scientific name for the coyote, Canis latrans. In his title Quinn also gives what he will be studying and the location of his study. This information is pertinent to his audience, because it informs them not only to what he studied but the location of the coyotes that he is studying.

The next section in the K and S model would be the abstract. The abstract according to the K and S model should be "An overview of the whole, a concise statement of the type of study, its purpose, method, and results" (K and S 33). In Quinn's abstract he starts off with why he has done the study, "The Coyote ( Canis latrans) is a common resident in urban areas through out the United States, yet little is know about coyote diets in these environments" (Quinn 89). This statement serves to alert the audience about why Quinn is performing his study, "there is little know about the Coyote diets in these environments" (Quinn 89). Quinn's next statement in his abstract goes into his methods reviewing what he did, which was to characterize the annual diet of coyotes in an urban environment. He also speaks of his study area, which was in Western Washington. Quinn also went into detail about how he preformed his analyses, and his definition of residential, mixed agriculture- residential, and mixed forest residential. Quinn included his results in his abstract. Quinn's abstract follows all of the requirements of the K and S model, expect for being concise. Quinn answers all the questions posed by K and S for the abstract, he is very clear about what he is talking about. He gives a small excerpt from each of his sections which are good for his intended audience, because it allows them an overview of the whole article with out reading it. This thorough paragraph saves Quinn's intended audience time, in that if the abstract is not pertaining to the area of study they need they do not have to read it.

The introduction, which is the next section according to the K and S model, is a statement of the object and purpose of your study and the specific questions on identification, behavior, variation, and interaction that you sought to answer. (K and S 34) so the questions that need to be answered would be "what are you studying and why"(K and S 32)? Quinn states that there is little known about the diet of coyotes in area that he is studying. He also mentions the scientist that covered the material before him, stating the flaws in their work. "MacCraken's (1982) description of the annual diet of coyotes in residential habitat was based on a small number of scats (n=97) collected during a single month. Atkinson and Shackleton (1991) described the diet of coyotes in an area that was mostly agricultural" (Quinn 89). These mentions of previous studies are meant to show the gaps in previous works that he intends to address, "Additionally, none of these studies looked at the diets as a function of human density" (Quinn 90). Quinn goes on to mention his objective, "My objectives were to document the annual diet of coyotes in three types of urban habitats of western Washington and to qualitatively asses how coyote diets changed as a function of land use patterns and human density" (Quinn 90). This statement is very clear and to the point because Quinn wants his audience to know exactly what his objective is and he dose not want his objective to be unclear. This goes to the fact that Quinn is writing this paper with the goal of earning his doctorate degree. This fact may contribute to such a clearly stated objective. Quinn's introduction, as it relates to the K and S model, answers all the questions that are suppose to answer.

The next section addressed by Quinn is the study area. The study area is not a section set aside by the K and S model but in this section Quinn goes into great detail about the specific areas covered in the study. Quinn begins with "the low elevation ( 50% commercial dog food (estimated visually) originated from the dog. Commercial dog food was easily identified under low magnification by the abundance or grain particles." In this section Quinn gives the details needed for the K and S model. He goes into enough detail so that his experiment can be reproduced with great accuracy. The most important details included in this section would be the dates and the temperatures in which the scats where taken. Quinn included these specifics to make sure that who ever was going to reproduce his experiment could replicate it exactly. This is very important to Quinn's audience because he was writing this paper with the intent of gaining a degree so his paper was under review not by his peers of the scientific community but by his teachers, so he had to insure that all of his information was thorough and


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