Social websites harm children’s brains Q) What ideas have been presented in the second passage? Comment on the rhetorical devices of the passage by using brief references. By Fahad Jahangir.


Ans) This extract, entitled “Social websites harm children’s brains”, belongs to a prestigious online news department referred to as “Mail online.” The use of vocabulary in this extract is informal, as it also states the presence of figurative language. In addition, the theme of this extract is ‘social evils’, and furthermore, the tone of this extract is mainly ‘satisfactory’, as the writer tends to persuade the reader. The content is mainly based upon facts and expert opinions. Moreover, the style adapted by the writer is ‘persuasive’ and ‘descriptive’ which is suitable for ‘young adults’, ‘special interest groups’, ‘all newsreaders’, and finally ‘adults’. Lastly the purpose of the extract is ‘informative’.


The writer tends to convey his message by using a blend of figurative language, which mainly includes the usage of ‘hyperbole’ and ‘personification’. The writer immediately starts off by using the phrase, “alarming change[s] in the brain.” This hyperbole contributes to the rise of emotions in the readers mind and proves to engage the reader early on. The introduction of personification was also a great technique used by the writer as he states the following phrases, “circulate text messages” and “fast paced shows.” This following technique introduces a great amount of visualization in a readers mind and makes the ‘threat’ the writer tends to portray more prominent through this handful of figurative language.


The writer also introduced the reader to a set of triples, for example he states, ”killing, skinning, butchering.” This following set of triples consists of cruel, mean and harsh words, which contribute towards setting a certain feeling that forces the reader to believe that the writer’s argument is very alarming and need’s to be focused upon. Furthermore this argument that consists of only three words can have a drastic effect upon the reader and makes the writer’s vision more eminent.


The reader would also get a glimpse of generalization while going through this particular piece of text, as the writer states, “youngster’s lack the ability to communicate.” This statement is directly directed towards every single youngster, even though this may be wrong but the intended effect of the writer upon the reader is enlarged and through this general phrase the writer makes is case more prominent and persuasive.


There is a certain shift of tone in this text. In the first part of the extract, the tone is slightly harmonious by scrolling up the passage a number of expert opinion such as, ”claims from Susan Greenfield”, and “Baroness Greenfield”. This transforms the passage to a more persuasive and interesting piece of text. Moreover, coming towards the writer introduces his own opinion which solidifies upon the writers personal view upon the matter.


Overall, the theme of this extract is ‘social evils’ which includes the use of figurative language more prominently, and to conclude the writer conveys his message clearly and furthermore elaborates upon the matter by the most effective introduction of expert opinions which sheds light upon the writers message by making it more authentic.



By: Fahad  Jehangir


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 or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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