Daily Archives: August 28, 2016

Which text is more successful in showing what it is like to move to a different country? by Faryal Shuja


I believe Text Two, “Ru” by Kim Thuy is far more successful at showing what it is like to move to a different country. I feel this for  number of reasons, the first being the use of various literary techniques. An example of this is: “dazzle us, blind us, intoxicate us”. The use of tripilism highlights the authors point, and allows the reader to feel the emotions of the writer. The writer also uses extremely strong and emotive language, for example: “I felt naked, if not stripped bare”. The use of strong words such as “naked” and “bare” evokes an immediate response within the reader, allowing them to truly feel what the author is feeling, and therefore they know what it is like to move to a different country, therefore making Text Two more successful.
Secondly, the author writes in first person, and shares extremely personal experiences. Throughout, we also know how the writer feels at every moment, so it is as if we, the readers, are also going through the same emotions and hardships. Two prime examples of this are: “I knew this was a place of delights” and “I couldn’t imagine a better place on earth”. The use of first person and “I” creates a closeness between the reader and writer. This makes the reader pictures the all the scenarios, and feel all the emotions present. This ability to provoke emotions, and create imagery makes Text Two superior to Text One, as it successfully shows the reader what it is like, and all the different emotions and events involved in moving to a new, or different country.


I chose Text One, “Refugee Boy” by Benjamin Zephaniah as less successful for one main reason: the disconnect between the author and reader, as well as the lack of imagery. The writing is written in third person, and it does not do much to connect with the reader. There are no strong, or emotive words, no imagery, and the sentences are short, and choppy. Examples of this are: “His father smiled.” and “The taxi pulled up outside the hotel”. The author is simply describing events that take place, and does not show any depth to the main character, Alem at all. The thoughts and feelings of Alem are not fully explored, and instead simple sentences are used such as: “Alem loved the excitement of being out so late”. This does not allow the reader to understand, or feel what it is like to move to a new country, thus making Text One far less successful at conveying what it is like to move to a new country.


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


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.  

Which text is more successful at present the dying art of handwriting? You may chose 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 writers’ language and techniques. You should support you points with evidence from the text. Answer by Faryal Shuja


I believe Text One “The Dying Art of Handwriting” by Margaret Rock is more successful. I believe this for many reasons, the first being the structure of the text. It is well structured, with a captivating title, and an introduction that interests the reader from the very beginning. The author also ends with final sentence being one of hope. Examples of the well done structures are show throughout the passage. The first being its title , “The Dying Art of Handwriting”  as it is “dying” and not decaying, or deteriorating. This immediately catches the reader’s attention and makes them interested in the subject of the passage. The introduction keeps the reader interested as it uses comparisons , an example of this is: “Twenty years ago” and is followed by “But today,”. This almost forces the reader to see the contrast and makes them realize just how much the times are changing, which is a theme of the passage. Finally, in the final sentence the author shines a positive light on the future. This is shown when “we’ll develop new ones”, in reference to pathways within our brain. This allows the reader to reflect on what the passage was about, but also frees them to go further, and think about the future.

The second reason I feel Text One is superior is the engaging use  of logos throughout the passage. The author not only gives the reader valid information that backs up the point of the passage, it is done in a way that is easily understood. An example of this is: “In short there is a direct link-“, this allows the author to explain complicated subjects simply, and in a way that is easy to grasp, thus engaging a larger variety of readers. The reader also does not lose interest, or become overwhelmed by too much information. All this makes Text One a  superior and more successful passage.

I did not choose Text Two, “The Writing is on the Wall- for the Moment” for a number of reasons, the main one beings its overall tone. I feel that the writer’s tone felt too negative, and slightly condescending. This is due to the author’s poor language choice , and even the use of rhetorical questions being used poorly. An example of poor language choice is “depressing” and “unhappy”, this makes the author seem to negative, therefore making the author unlikeable to the reader. The author also writes: “black vision of this whole generation”, this comes off as extremely condescending. Especially considering a large section of the readers will be part of the generation being referred to. I think these were attempts to engage and captivate the reader, but instead did the opposite, and created a theme of negativity, one that will repel readers. This all makes Text Two inferior to Text One, as well as less successful.

Q: Explain how the writer presents his impressions of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe. You should support your answer with close reference to the passage, including brief quotations. Answer by Maheen Hasnat


A: This passage takes the form of a news report titled “Zimbabwe grapples with hyperinflation” published on January 2009. This passage is essentially about the rapid rise of hyperinflation and how the people of Zimbabwe are handling it. The purpose of this news report is to inform the reader about the gravity of the situation, as is seen from the very title of the report.

This passage is targeted towards newspaper readers, mostly those who take a keen interest in global affairs. In light of presentational devices, the author has made use of an image consisting of large amounts of money along with a bold main heading as well as a subheading. These devices are successful in catching the attention of the reader. The tone of this passage is serious which is effective in conveying the sheer gravity of the hyperinflation in Zimbabwe. To enforce this serious tone, emotive language has been used such as “currency has virtually lost its value”, “currency is worthless” and “families are unable to afford a square meal.”

To strengthen the purpose, the author has backed up his statement claiming that Zimbabwe’s currency has “lost its value” with statistical and factual evidence. For example, “one US dollar was trading at this date at around ZW$25 billion” and “an economic crisis with unemployment running at more than 80%”. This makes the passage authentic and manages to convince the reader to accept what the writer has stated. This is the use of logos as it appeals to the reader’s logical sense.

The author of this news report has cleverly used quotations of those people who are suffering from hyperinflation. He or she has included the opinions of various people such as “taxi driver”, “lecturer”, “mother” and “businessman”. These quotations also include the use of pathos, for example; “we can hardly look after our families, “people are cannibalizing each other”, “we won’t be able to afford the prices”. These are important tools that evoke an emotional response from the reader, convincing them to believe what the author is stating, as well as engaging the reader in the passage.

To arouse the reader’s interest, the writer has made use of a variety of sentences, ranging from simple, short sentences to longer, complex sentences. For example, “Zimbabwe was once a regional economic model, but now in the throes of an economic crisis with unemployment running at more than 80%, many families are unable to afford a square meal’ and “They’re immediately eroded” The vocabulary of this passage is simple but some jargons have been used such as “legal tender”, “foreign currency” and “hyperinflation”.

Overall, the writer has used a blend of pathos and logos to raise the reader’s awareness on the economic situation of Zimbabwe. I believe that the writer has been very successful in conveying his or her message as well as arousing a deep interest in what he/she has to say.