An Analysis of American Heart Association’s Advocacy Fact Sheet
ENG 317, Section 30
March 31st, 2015
As per your request, I conducted a publication analysis of a non-profit organization by comparing its components to the textbook, Writing That Works, written by Walter E. Oliu. The American Heart Association (AHA) is a non-profit organization that is known for its extensive research and public service campaigns in order to promote cardiovascular well-being and reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke. Through this research they have published many advocacy fact sheets, which offer research analysis on many subjects like nutrition, smoking, heart diseases, prevention, and so on.
As I browsed through these publications, I came across one called “E-cigarettes and Public Health”. Now I don’t smoke what this publication refers to as an “e-cigarette”; technically, I smoke vaporizers, which are vegetable glycerol based versus e-cigarette’s aerosol mechanics. However, I was still intrigued by the publication and decided to write my analysis on it. The publication is a short two-page document and, like a pamphlet, the information is separated into two vertical columns so that when you are reading it, the information on the first page runs on to the second page before returning back to the first page again. The purpose of this publication is to inform. Considering e-cigarettes are relatively new, we can assume that the intended audience is those interested in learning more about the affects of e-cigarettes, e.g., parents, cigarette smokers, and current e-cigarette smokers.
This report focuses on key concepts from the textbook and relates them to the advocacy fact sheet of the American Heart Association. Click here to access.
Impact Through Organization
In chapter two of the textbook, Oliu defines the many ways of organizing your information to achieve the greatest impact to your reader. One of the organizational patterns Oliu defines is the example of “Decreasing Order of Importance”, which he explains on page 51 as simply organizing your information starting with the most important and ending with the least important—but still relevant—information. Oliu says that “this sequence of information is useful for a report written for a variety of audiences, some of whom may be interested in only the major points and others in all points (pg. 51).”
The publication I am analyzing uses a great example of decreasing order of importance in the section headed “E-Cigarettes’ Impact On Youth.” If we consider parents as one of the primary audience members, then this section will surely be read, and this isn’t the kind of information AHA wants to sugar coat. They start with the most eye-opening information first that says, “ Nearly 1.78 million middle and high school students nationwide have tried e-cigarettes.” The section continues with hard hitting facts like, “The percentage of U.S. middle and high school students who used electronic cigarettes more than doubles from 2011 to 2012” and, “In 2014, more teens used e-cigarettes than traditional cigarettes or any other tobacco product.” The information presented in this section begins to lessen in severity but stays relevant all the way through.
In chapter 2, Oliu writes, “When a subject does not lend itself to one particular pattern, you can choose the best sequence by considering your purpose and your audience needs (pg. 40).” I believe this section, “E-Cigarettes’ Impact On Youth”, addresses the purpose of the article but more importantly, as a reader, it answers the question: “Why should I care?” When we consider our audience members, this is the most important information I would want to take away from this publication.
Good and the Bad
I read through several of AHA’s advocacy fact sheets