Comparison Question (old) by Zaina Shahab

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Q. Which text is more successful at presenting the dying art of handwriting?

You may choose either Text One or Text Two, but you must explain your choice carefully.

Give two reasons why you chose this text and one reason for not choosing the other text. You may wish to comment on the writer’s language and techniques. You should support your points with evidence from the texts.

Ans. I believe Text One, as compared to Text Two, is more successful at presenting the dying art of handwriting. The purpose of this text is to inform the reader of the various advantages of handwriting, as well as to give him an overview of how the art of handwriting has declined over the years, and continues to do so. The writer, for e.g., has given a brief description of how handwriting plays a significant role in memorizing texts: “When you write, you build hand-eye coordination and practice fine motor skills”. By doing so, the writer intends to impact the reader in a way that he realizes how beneficial the act of stroking a pen on a piece of paper may be to him.

In Text One, the author uses a variety of facts and quotes to prove her point, for e.g. “According to the Wall Street Journal”, “Studies show”, “’It helps you connect things,’ said Virginia Berninger”, etc. The intended effect of this technique is to make the text stronger and more believable, so that the reader dos not have any doubt of whether the claims are accurate or not.

Even though Text Two is an informative read, providing reality-based examples to make it more relatable, the lack of factual information makes it a little less effective. For e.g. “my fingers seem to have forgotten how to do it properly”. These personal experiences make the text relatable, but fail to provide information about the different aspects of handwriting, such as its extreme importance for mental development.

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