Q) How has the writer of the text used style and language to convey meaning? By Ali Ul Qudur


The title given to this passage is ‘Some birds are so stressed by noise pollution it looks like they have PTSD’ and is an article written by The Washington Post. the title immediately tells the reader that this passage is about the mental health of birds and in this case, western bluebirds. 

The structure of this passage comprises of various sentence structures, punctuations and paragraphs. The passage has mostly long sentences and the writer has uniquely conveyed his message in short sentences by the use of a semicolon which makes it a parenthetical clause. ‘Her stress hormone levels became skewed; her health deteriorated.’ is an example. Furthermore, the passage has conjunctions and connectors to justify and further elaborate her statement. The paragraphs are long with a lot of detail and quotations and statements have been used. The effect this brings is that the author clearly understands the author’s point and start agreeing with them.

The language used in this passage is formal and casualty isn’t present. However, the author has used quotations and speech. The effect this brings is that the reader gets to know that the topic which is being discussed is important and should be taken seriously.

The Tone of this passage is negative as the author talks about the mental health of the birds and how noise pollution affects their mental health. ‘Habitat degradation is always conceived of as clear-cutting, or, you know, changing the environment in a physical way.’ Likewise, the style of the passage is persuasive and informative as the author tries to make the reader realise about the health of the western bluebirds and how the population has been affected over the years due to habitat degradation. 

The purpose of this passage is to inform the reader and make them realise the effects on birds and how we humans have destroyed the habitat due to industrialization. Similarly, the audience that would be concerned and would read this are adults, young adults or anyone who is concerned about mother nature and the life around it.

Also, the author has maintained a very serious tone and hasn’t given hints of vernacular language. ‘It’s an adaptation to an untenable situation,’.This is formal and straight forward. This makes the reader more concerned about the topic that has been brought up and is inspired to change for the better.

The point of view and the narration is in the third person as the author constantly mention the bird and how it has struggled and gotten itself into a trap. ‘The bluebird didn’t realize what she was getting herself into’. The author also mentions every detail – from the beginning until the end.

The use of quotations in this article also shows the reader that this issue shouldn’t be taken on a lighter note. ‘ “Habitat degradation is always conceived of as clear cutting, or, you know, changing the environment in a physical way.” ’.The statements make the reader realise about the damage and effects by involving them and telling them that we could imagine how it would feel if we were in the same scenario.

The author also asks the reader rhetorical questions like, ‘Why is hearing so important to health?’ and then instantly answers it without asking another question. This makes the reader realise and think about the question and also grabs the attention of the reader.

The author uses triples like, “cardiovascular problems, gastrointestinal issues, extreme fatigue.” This entertains the reader and is also factual as it talks about health by using similar medical terms.

Also, not a lot of figures of speech have been used as this is a formal passage but the author says, “Goldilocks distance” which is a metaphor meaning that the distance is perfect – not too far and not too close. This entertains the reader and grabs their attention especially in this formal passage. 

Lastly, alliterations such as ‘clear connection’  have been used. This play on words entertains the reader and engages the reader.

In conclusion, this article has successfully persuaded the reader and make them realise about the mental health of birds and how they get PTSD due to noise pollution. The author was successful as he used various techniques and the minor details made this passage very persuasive and attractive.


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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