- What ideas have been presented in the second passage? Comment on rhetorical devices of the passage by using brief quotations.
This extract ‘Social Websites Harm Children’s Brains’ is from an online newspaper called ‘Mail Online’. The extract is about how social websites can and are harming children’s brains. The structure of this passage is descriptive and informative. The purpose of the writer is informative and the language used in this extract is formal. The intended audience of this passage is adults and all newspaper readers, especially the readers of read newspapers online. The tone of the author is serious in this extract.
The writer has used metaphoric language, though very little, such as “strike a chord with parents and teachers” and “in the same way as killing, skinning and butchering an animal to eat”. The writer tells us that many parents and teachers are in harmony with each other on the negative effects of social websites and also that real conversation might be replaced by text messaging like the killing, skinning and butchering of an animal has been replaced by packaged meat. The use of metaphoric language helps the writer reinforce his point very effectively.
The author has also used statistics and data throughout the passage. This is illustrated by “more than 150 million people use Facebook” and “six million have signed up to twitter”. The writer gives the reader and idea of the amount of users on social networking sites. “Teenagers now spend seven-and-a-half hours”. The author also tells the amount of time spent by most teenagers on their screens. The use of these statistics and figures adds weight to back up the author’s point of view in how harmful these social websites are to children.
The writer has used medical jargon “autism” and also “autistic people”. With these the writer informs the reader about autistic people, those who cannot express their emotions, and how they are affected by these social websites. This gives the reader an impression that the writer has a vast knowledge on this topic and helps convey his message efficiently.
The writer has also presented expert advice and reported the views and opinions of others constantly throughout the passage. This is evident when “Baroness Greenfield, an Oxford University neuroscientist believes repeated exposure could effectively rewire the brain” and “Lady Greenfield told the Lords”. The writer has reported the views of others to convey what these people think and have found out about the problem of social networking. This reinforces the writer’s argument about the harmful effects of social websites.
To conclude the writer has successfully created awareness about the harms caused by social media on children by using various and effective techniques, keeping the reader engaged and creating concern for adults about their children.