Rhetorical Situation Belina Hillger

Jacob Belina
Dylan Hillger

Who (Author, Audience)?

  • Author: Suzanne LaBarre, she is the online content director of Popular Science. This bodes well for the authors reputation.
  • The intended audience is the regular viewers of the Popular Science online articles. The article may be intended to call out the trolls and spammers that are ruining intellectual argument as well.
  • It is assumed that the audience is made up of people of higher education who find science interesting. No specific age or gender can be determined but education and income may be toward the higher end of the spectrum. They value science as well as intellectual conversations that are being ruined by trolls.

What and How? (Subject Matter, Argument and Style)?

  • The thesis is understood to be, "Comments can be bad for science. That's why, here at PopularScience.com, we're shutting them off."
  • The author provides a decent amount of background information about the magazine itself and about the problems that have been occurring lately on the Popular Science website.
  • The argument is clearly stated throughout the first couple paragraphs. There are not specific examples of evidence clearly stated in the article, but there are studies published about the argument that are presented in the article. The author sites a study led by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Dominique Brossard.

When and Where?

  • Popular Science
  • Posted September 24, 2013


  • The purpose of this article is to inform people that they don't need to believe all of the comments that are posted on website pages. They should form their own informed decisions and views on the topic up for discussion and add intellectual input of their own to the discussion.
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