Rhetorical Analysis of What is Computer Science
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Rhetorical Analysis of What is Computer Science
To: Professor R. Key
From: Patricia Anderson PA
Subject: Rhetorical Analysis of “What is Computer Science?”
Date: 5 October 2019
The purpose of this memo is to serve as an analysis of an information page belonging to Boston University’s Computer Science department in the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The artifact is intended to answer common questions about the major for students considering or already enrolled in the university’s computer science program. This memo will specifically look over the page and identify its overall effectiveness in explaining the field of computer science according to Markel’s “Measure of Excellence in Technical Documents” (8).
Overall, the article not only provides an informative description of the field of computer science, but it also offers an interesting perspective on what it is. Although there are no visual aids within the document, the language is easy to comprehend given the fact that computer science may be hard to explain due to its complexity and diversity. Furthermore, the document gave accurate and direct information to the audience and exemplified a clear message.
Professional Appearance and Accessibility
At first glance, the document is visually appealing, but still has room for improvement. The pages were plain and contained zero graphics and pictures except for an image in the heading of the document and the logo of Boston University at the bottom. The repetitive bland colors, text font and size, along with no visual aid all contributed to an appearance that resembled that of an old boring textbook. With these features, it might be expected that it would be a hard text to read, however, each paragraph was easy to follow and understand without tiring the eyes. In addition, the beginning section possessed a pale-yellow background with a slightly darker shade of yellow bordering the text. This section signified its importance because of the increase in font size compared to the smaller font of the rest of the text as well as each of their bolded titles.
Beginning each section is a bolded blue headline which clearly divides the entire document into separate segments. Every segment addresses an important topic regarding the field of computer science with a question that the audience can take note of when gathering information about this field of study. Below is either a detailed answer to the header or specific information related to it. The paragraphs are neatly organized and easy for the audience to read, however what would assist the audience is a link to another page which provides more detail into the major’s research and potential career opportunities. Doing so would make this field of study seem more appealing as well as interesting than how it is already shown.
Clarity and Conciseness
In its entirety, the document is very concise in its layout and how the information is presented. Specifically, each paragraph is labeled clearly and is very easy for the audience to read completely or search for a specific section to focus on.
While still being short and sweet, each paragraph and sentence packs a good amount of information to understand what the computer science field is like. The writer included very helpful comparisons between other majors to reveal what makes computer science so different. The writer adds onto this feature of the document with also an entire short segment dedicated to what computer science is not which ensures the audience will know more about the subject itself in a more straightforward manner.
Honesty and Accuracy
Each page of the document hosts accurate information and being a computer science major myself I would easily be able to know if there was anything incorrect on the page. There is also the document itself which is formatted and presented in such a way that any false information would seem obvious and out of place. Beyond that, the target audience is in fact students who are already studying, or planning to study computer science, so there is unlikely to be any wrong facts here seeing as how they would be obvious to the students looking through the document.
There are no inaccuracies on this page which shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing as how it was published from a respectful department within a reputable university. The document was written and published by professors and most likely researchers who dedicate their careers to the field of computer science.
Comprehensiveness and Correctness
While also being easy to read and look at, this document was written and formatted to answer the questions of potential or current students in the most straightforward and correct way possible. In fact, the sections of the document are designed as in a step-by-step journey giving one fact easily after another. In addition to that, there is a section at the bottom of the page showing the department’s contact information such as phone number, email, fax number, and even the address of the computer science building itself should any students have further questions about the program. Any student who is interested or would love to know all the general information is found on the document and have easy access to other helpful resources.
It is also helpful to note that any student seriously considering studying computer science will also find comprehensive information about what exactly the major includes and what typical students do and learn.
There are also no grammatical or spelling errors on this page which really show that this page was made by professionals rather than someone else trying to falsely advertise a respective field. The writers and documenters have made each sentence clear and precise and even make the more difficult terminology easy to understand with elaborate examples and quotes.
In conclusion, I feel that this document meets the standards of excellence. Though, there were some deficiencies pointed out at the beginning of this memo, there is no doubt that any computer science student or prospective student can easily find the answers to their questions on this page. At a first glance, I felt there was a lot that computer science has to offer prospective students and I personally feel that there was a lot I learned about my own field of study. Overall, I am very happy with the fact that each paragraph was labeled so I could easily find my way through the text without any confusion. I am also happy with the fact that there were no distractions whatsoever and that if I had any other questions to ask then there would always be someone I can connect with to learn more. This document was very straightforward and simple to read, and I highly encourage others to read it too.
Markel, Michael H. Practical Strategies for Technical Communication. 2nd ed., Bedford/St. Martins, a Macmillan Education Imprint, 2016.
“What Is Computer Science.” Https://Www.cs.bu.edu/AboutCS/WhatIsCS.pdf, Boston University College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.