Zuckerman and Singh: Plastic Surgery as Told by Two Authors
Plastic surgery is a medical procedure to correct a physical abnormality, ranging from liposuction to correction of a cleft lip and palate. It is not uncommon to encounter an adult who has had plastic surgery for a health reason or for aesthetic purposes, but it is now becoming increasingly popular in adolescents. More and more children want to change things about their physical appearance because of bullying and social media. The celebrities in modern society, such as Kylie Jenner and Nicki Minaj, have gotten plastic surgery to correct things that they do not like. The actions of these celebrities, along with other factors such as bullying, have influenced children to have the desire for plastic surgery to make them look more desirable. There are, however, many other factors when adolescents decide to have plastic surgery. Many complications can happen from plastic surgery in general, and even more can arise when it is done on adolescents. In the article entitled “Teens and Cosmetic Surgery” by Diana Zuckerman and an academic journal called “Cosmetic Surgery in Teenagers: To Do or Not to Do” by Kuldeep Singh, the authors discuss this topic of plastic surgery in teens, but do so in different ways.
Both authors Zuckerman and Singh have a professional postgraduate degree, so they have the potential to have a professional tone about their writing. Despite the commonality of a formal tone, their writings are written for two different publications, which connotes different tones. Zuckerman’s article is published on an online source called “Our Body Selves,” which has health information on many different topics. In Zuckerman’s writing, she uses a tone that is informal and makes it easier for the reader to understand the information. In an academic journal, the audience is typically more professional. Academic journals are published in magazines intended to be read by people of a certain profession such as postgraduate medical staff. The tone of an academic journal tends to be more formal. It isn’t necessarily that their language is different, but rather their diction, or word choice. Both articles are written on the same topic, so their vernacular will most likely parallel. However, the way things are phrased are different. For example, the way that Zuckerman discusses FDA regulation of breast implants for woman under the age of 18 is slightly different than that of Singh. Zuckerman writes, “Although the FDA approved saline breast implants for women ages 18 and older, it is legal for physicians to perform breast augmentation for anyone under 18 as an “off-label” use” (2012). Singh writes, “The Food and Drug Administration considers aesthetic breast augmentation for patients less than 18 years of age to be an off-label use,” (2015). Both Singh and Zuckerman explained the same circumstance, but in two different tones by using different word choices. Singh connotes a more professional tone by way of his language, as Zuckerman portrays an informal tone by using everyday language.
Because the authors have articles in two different publication types, the structure of these articles are also different. In a website, there is less of a need for structure when writing, although there tends to be a common trend for writing: an introduction, the subject of the article, facts and opinions or pros and cons, and ending with the conclusion. Academic journals, however, are written, typically, following a completed study to present their findings and information. They have their own structure: abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, and references. Singh’s article is not written after a study, but still retains some of the same structure. Despite having the subsection headers, Singh’s paper follows the structure by having an abstract, introducing the topic, including research on the topic, and statistics, a conclusion and references. An article published on a public website could follow the format as one of an academic journal. It would not be appropriate, however, due to the informal tone of the article.
Although these two writers have different styles on the same topic, they also have a similarity: they use medical language and professional sources in their articles. As previously mentioned, Zuckerman and Singh have postgraduate degrees. Zuckerman has a PhD in epidemiology and Singh has a Master of Science degree and a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree. There is a medical vocabulary that both authors use in their writing. The topic of these papers creates a use for this medical language. Zuckerman writes, “Most women who get breast implants have at least one serious complication within the first three years, including infection, hematomas and seromas, capsular contracture (a sometimes painful hardening of the breasts), loss of nipple sensation, and hypertrophic scarring,” (2012). Singh writes, “Capsular contracture, implant leakage or rupture or wrinkling of the skin over the implant is also a possible risk and may require secondary procedures. All surgery also carries risks associated with anesthesia,” (2015). In discussing the risks associated with breast implants in teens, both authors use medical language in describing them. Using this medical language while writing creates credibility in their articles.
After reading both articles, the academic journal written by Singh was more difficult to read and understand. Because Singh’s writing was written for a specific, medical audience, a third-year college student without a degree can understand it, but not without some trouble and attempting multiple reads. Zuckerman’s article written on a public website is easier to understand, due to her use of everyday language and phrasing. Any individual who reads her article can understand it, as well as use the information she provided to be able to teach it to someone else or discuss it without having to use a medical dictionary. Both writers were successful in writing their articles and establishing their credibility, but by use of different tones, language and structure.