AO3: How have the writers of both texts conveyed their message about the negative use of social networking sites? Support your answer using brief quotations from the texts. By Amal Adil

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The title of passage A is “It’s so over: cool cyberkids abandon social networking sites” and the title of passage B is “Social websites harm children’s brains”. Passage A has been taken from “The Guardian” and passage B from “Mail Online”. Both passages are trying to prove the harmful effects of social networking sites and how and why the excessive use of social media should be stopped. Both the writers have delivered the passages in an extremely effective way and have used detailed words to prove the negative effects of social media.

The tone used in passage A is slightly informal as the writer has used phrases like “ra-ra skirts” and “uncles wearing skinny jeans” to add a bit of humor to the text. By  making the tone informal from the first paragraph, the writer makes the text more interesting to read. In passage B, the tone is more formal and is also slightly negative as the positive effects of social media have not been mentioned. Passage A has used a bit of positivity by mentioning that tennagers/young adults have reduced the use of social media but in passage B, there is no positivity related to social networking sites.

The structure of passage A is a newspaper article and it is mainly for adults, young adults and people who read newspapers whereas passage B is from an online article which shows that it is mainly for young adults and people interested in the harmful effects of social media. As the passages are mainly directed towards young adults, they feel as if they need to stop or reduce the use of social media.

In passage A the author has used jargons such as “Facebook”, “Myspace”. Similarly in passage B, the author has used jargons like “Twitter”,”Bebo”. By using jargons, both the writers have added emphasis to the text and by using professional language, the passages become more believable and the reader feels as if the writer knows a lot about the topic.

Similarly, in passage A and B both, the writers have used a lot of facts and figures. For example, in passage A, “21% in 2007, 15-24 year olds” and in passage B, “More than 150 million”. By using facts and figures, the writers support their point of views believable evidence.

The vocabulary used in passage A is a little heavier than the words used in passage B. For example, “proliferation, “adolescent”, “exodus”. This adds more weight to passage A and as passage A was more informal, these words and a bit of formality to the text. But in passage B, the vocabulary used is easier than passage A, for example, “constant”, “instant”, “exposure”. As the tone in passage A is more formal, to balance the ratio of formality and informality, the writers have added heavy vocabulary where needed to make the text seem more authoritative.

Both the passages have used expert opinions to support their text. For example, the author of passage A has taken opinions from “Peter Philips”, “James Thickett” and in passage B, the opinions have been taken from “Baroness Greenfield”, “Jane Healy”. As both the writers have shared opinions of different people, both the texts become more believable to the reader at mentioning the person who said the dialogue makes the text more informative.

The theme of both the passages is same as both texts are mainly talking about the harmful effects of social media but the content is a little different. Passage A is talking about how “teenagers or young adults” have left social networking sites as the title suggests but passage B is talking about how social websites harm “childrens” brains. Both the texts are talking about different age groups which shows the reader that there are different point of views about social media’s harmful effects.

Both passage A and passage B have used humor in the text. For example, in passage A, “mothers investing in ra-ra skirts”, “uncles wearing skinny jeans” and in passage B, “small babies need constant reassurance that they exist”. By using humor, the authors have toned down the serious mood in the text and have made it more interesting to the reader.

The author of passage A has not used any inclusive language but the author of passage B has, for example, “We know how…they exist…”. By using this type of language, the author includes the reader in the text and grabs the readers attention. Even though passage A hasn’t used inclusive language, its tone is more informal which also grabs the readers attention.

Both the writers have a used a great deal of evidence to support the text and have used different techniques to engage the reader. Even though the tone and style of writing of both passages is different, both the writers have successfully conveyed their messages in different ways.

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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