Q1) Comment on the style and language of Passage one using brief quotations. By Xainab Shuja


This passage is an extract from an article from ‘The Guardian’, titled ‘it’s so over: Cool Cyberkids abandon Social Networking Sites’. The genre of the passage is non-fiction. The tone of the passage is informative, but neutral. The style of the passage is expository. The language used in the passage is semi-formal, passive, using short and compound sentences. The theme of the passage is “Social Media” and sub-themes include “trends” and “youngsters”. The audience of this passage is people who read newspapers or articles, generally ranging from young adults to adults. The purpose of this passage is to inform the reader on how older people are adopting social media to “kill the trend” amongst youngsters, and to slightly persuade people not to use Social Media as much.

This article uses devices such as statistics and logics to achieve certain effects on the reader. There is usage of unique vocabulary coupled with logic and evidence to make the said points more effective. The overall impression of the passage is very to-the-point, informative, but slightly persuasive as well.

The introduction to this article starts off  in a very straightforward tone, giving the reader a sense of importunity. The introduction starts off with a very relatable example of adults adopting new trends, such as, “uncles wearing skinny jeans”, “mothers investing in ra-ra skirts”, and “fathers nodding along awkwardly to the latest grime record”. Starting the introduction off with a relatable example to everyday life is extremely effectual as the reader is able to connect to the passage and wants to read more.

In the ending of the introduction, the writer has used a combination of figurative language such as “the surest way to kill a youth trend”, “adopt as its own”, and “cyber world”. The personification and jargon used makes the flow of the passage smoother, more pleasing to read. The overall introduction seems structured to grab the reader’s attention.

For the introduction, the writer introduces his ideas early on in the passage, influencing the reader’s thinking and manipulating his thoughts.

Directly after the introduction comes a paragraph that is perhaps the most distinctive out of all the views that the article presents. One of the elements that makes it so is the usage of complex vocabulary embedded in exaggerated sentences. For example “proliferation”, “trawling”, “adolescent”, “exodus”. The usage of complex vocabulary insures that the passage maintains an informative yet semi-formal approach. The vocabulary used also shows the reader that the writer is extremely capable and has a true insight to the topic he is writing about.

The second reason this passage is distinctive is because it adds a rather dramatic hint to the passage, using expressions such as “trawling”, “adolescent” and “exodus”. The usage of complex vocabulary ensures that the passage maintains an informative yet semi-formal approach. The vocabulary used also shows the reader that the writer is extremely capable and has a true insight to the topic he is writing about.

The usage of personification, “to kill a youth trend”, “adopt as its own” conveys a wider range of emotions towards the topic as well as adding emphasis to the writer’s views.

There is a constant use of jargons from beginning to end. For example, “Facebook”, “MySpace”, “CyberWorld” and “Ofcom”. The use of the jargons in this way indicates that the writer knows what he is talking about. The use of the jargons anywhere, especially here, creates a higher sense of authority and legitimacy. As a result the reader feels assured that the passage is genuine, and that the writer is well informed and able to talk about the topic.

Statistics are provided throughout the article for the reader. For example, “30% of adults have a facebook profile as compared to the 21% in 2013, and “from 55% at the start of last year to 50% this year”.

It is said that humans do not appeal to the numbers, but the statistics provided hereare explained and blended in so well with the article that the reader does not feel that way that they are out of place. The usage of statistics not only ensures the writer’s authenticity but also highlights his views.

Along with the statistical and factual elements, the writer provides us with the evidence for his columns. Stating what officials like Peter Philips and James Thickett say for example, “Data suggests they are spending less time on social networking sites”. The provided evidence proves the writer’s claim and makes what he is saying believable.

At first, it may not seem so, but punctuation is a very important part of this article. The use of commas is more prominent than the use of any other. This use of commas encourages smooth flow of writing and a complete train of thought. This helps connect the reader to the passage better, as it makes the passage seem well thought out. Whereas , if the writer had just used  full stops then he would have separated one flow of thinking in to separate individual thoughts. The writer has used hyphen, “has dropped for the first time -“, which indicate that the writer wants a particular phrase bolded out. Also, towards the end of the passage, the use of the ellipses is used to bold out the phrase.

Towards the end, the writer gives us an expert opinion from James Thickett where he explains that the usage of social media has not exactly decreased in the younger groups of users, but has increased in making of the young profiles. Providing an expert opinion like he provided statistics and evidence, has an interesting effects on the reader, psychologically people tends to believe things more if they are coming from experts or celebrities. Therefore, the expert opinion proves the passageto be even more reliable and believable.

In the passage, the writer uses logic to express his points. He uses a combination of statistical and factual elements that prove his information to be authentic. He further provides evidence for his claims by stating the names of those gave research and opinions. Furthermore , he uses a bit of figurative language as well as elements of drama and exaggerations to make the reading more interesting and easy to digest. The intro to this article is started off in a strategic way, keeping the tone straight forward and informative, but also adding undertones of humour to grab the reader’s attention.




About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at fabbas227@hotmail.com or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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