Q3. AO3: Comparison Question By: Esha Shahzad 10-M


Extract A-‘it’s so over: cool cyber kids abandon social networking sites’ and extract B-‘Social Websites Harm Children’s Brains’ are both non-fiction newspaper articles that talk about social media and use techniques to back up their arguments.

The main idea of talking about social media in both passages is similar, however the content and purpose of both passages is quite different. Extract A mainly informs the reader about how there is a decline in the use of social media amidst youngsters and how it is getting more and more popular among adults who know exactly how to ‘’kill a youth trend’’. On the other hand, Extract B informs the reader about harms and dangers of social media mainly in children and how their ‘’social lives depend on iy’’. These habits can harness serious mental illnesses and can infantilize the brain. Children should instead learn to ‘’make real relations with people’’.

Both passages are written for the purpose to inform the reader. Thos is evident by use of facts and expert advice in the passage. However, extract A is intended for a more general audience compared to extract B which appeals mostly to parents concerned about their childrens’ excessive use of social media.

As mentioned earlier, both authors make use of rhetorical techniques in the passage. Firstly, both authors use facts and statistics in the passage. In extract A, there is a much broader use of statistics as a form of backing up the argument. This is evident when the author compares the use of social media in children (declined from ‘’55% to 50 %’’) to that of adults (40% to 46%). In extract B, the author mentions how ‘’Over 150 million people use Facebook’’ and how they should instead opt for socializing without using their mobile phones and social media.

Secondly, expert advice is used in both passages to add weight to their argument and reinforce a point. It helps manipulate the reader into believing that the authors are aware of what they are talking about. In extract A, advice from Peter Phillips (regulator’s head of strategy) and James Thicket (director of market research) is taken who further prove that how popularity of social media is increasing in adults, while the opposite is happening in children. In extract B, expert advice from Baroness Greenfield (Oxford University neuroscientist) and Jane Healy (Educational psychologist) who are both medical experts and stress on how extended periods of time on social media will cause a ‘’sharp decline’’ in their abilities.

The language of both passages is semi-formal. Extract A uses heavy and unique vocabulary such as ‘’proliferation’’ and an allusion to ‘’exodus’’ is also made. Jargons such as ‘’cyber world’’ are also used. These techniques are a form of LOGOS which create a sense of authenticity and reliability in the reader’s mind. On the other hand, extract B uses simple vocabulary with multiple jargons such as ‘’fight or flight’’ and ‘’micro blogging’’ which add coherency in the passage and an impression is given off to the audience that the author is fully aware of the subject.

Both passages make use of figures of speech. However, in extract A only uses metaphor – ‘’kill a youth trend’’ and exaggeration – ‘’behind the explosion’’ which both engage the reader and make a dramatic point. In extract B, there is a broader variety of figures of speech. Idiom such as ‘’strike a chord’’ are used instead of vague, simple phrases to engage the reader and draw their attention to how alarming a recent study could be for parents. Examples of onomatopoeia such as ‘’buzzing’’ and imagery such as ‘’killing’’ and ‘’skinning’’ can also be found which helps the reader visualize and evokes a sense of empathy in the reader for the poor, tormented animals.

Furthermore, extract B uses triples such as ‘’killing, skinning and butchering’’ which paints a picture of absolute torture in the reader’s mind and a simple process of making food is turned dramatic and empathy-seeking. In extract A, there is an absence of trong adjectives and the focus is more on using professional help and statistics to prove a point.

The syntax of both passages is similar. They both use short paragraphs and short sentences to make it easier to read and make the layout more visually and aesthetically appealing to the reader. It also helps the passage from sounding dull and monotonous. Extract B also makes use of dashes which help separate a thought and allow the reader to pause and think about the material provided in the passage.

In conclusion, both passages successfully talk about social media however, there purpose is achieved differently. Extract A focuses on adults and tries to stop them from ‘’killing a youth trend’’ and Extract B focuses on ‘’alarming changes’’ to children’s’ minds by excessive and constant use of social media.

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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