Q. Compare how the writers of Text One and Text Two convey their ideas and experiences when discussing the role and features of various volunteering groups. By Areesha Fatima

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The first passage is an extract taken from a website and is titled, ‘Volunteering with Raleigh International’ and the second one is an extract taken from a personal account, ‘Leila Volunteered as a teacher in Fiji’. The author of text one remains unnamed while that of text two is Leila. Both the passages greatly discuss the role and features of various volunteering groups and the authors have conveyed their experiences through the use of many techniques.

Firstly, the purpose of both the passages seems to be informative however text two has a slight touch of entertainment and text one seems a bit persuasive. For example in text one, “here are a few pointers on why volunteering with Raleigh International is different from….” and in text two, “Living in Fiji has really opened my eyes.” “As a volunteer of seven months….” In text one, the persuasive factor along with being informative encourages the reader to volunteer for ‘Raleigh International’ and text two keeps the author entertained along with giving an ample amount of information for the ease of the reader. This specifies the purpose of writing and tends to keep the reader engaged so that the author also achieves their purpose.

Moreover, the language used in both the passages stays simple yet interesting for the reader as it can be seen by, “trekking, comprehensive, unexplored, equatorial” and in the second passage, “open-mindedness, consistently, humanitarian” The use of such language becomes a source of grabbing the reader’s attention as familiar words will make them read further and will add more knowledge to their mind’s dictionary if they are unfamiliar with them. 

Additionally, the tone of both the passages is positive and effective for the reader. For example in text one, “recognise the benefits of Raleigh International”, “Safety is at the heart of everything we do.” “developing skills” and in text two, “patience is a skill I have really developed.” “I’m proud to say that….”,“I would like to achieve this dream….” All these examples reflect the positive tone used by both the authors which affects the reader’s mood and brings out his/her positive attitude towards the topic being discussed which in this case is ‘volunteering’.

Proceedingly, the choice of the author of text one of writing the text in second person and that of text two for writing in first person has helped both of them to convey their idea successfully but differently. For example in text one,  “so you won’t feel isolated.” “You’ll be making a real difference.” “You won’t just be repainting a school” and in text two, “I have been very busy during….” “I feel like I could take on almost any challenge.”

By writing in second person, the author refers to the reader as ‘you’ which makes him/her feel included and a part of the whole volunteering experience and as if the author is directly talking to him/her and conveying his ideas and feelings.However,in first person by using ‘I’, the author makes an image of the reader experiencing everything on his/her own and he/she feels like the main role of the passage. Both these techniques equally get a grip of the reader’s attention.

Furthermore, there is a great use of statistics in text one which can be seen by, “12-16 people comprising 2 volunteer managers aged 25+ and volunteers aged 17-24”, “24 hours a day, seven days a week.” This makes the passage more authentic and the author’s purpose to inform the reader has been achieved along with persuading the reader about ‘Raleigh International’. In text two, there isn’t any use of statistics but still tends to inform the reader about her volunteering experience in Fiji.

Also, a prominent use of dialect can be observed in text two e.g. “bula”. This connotes that the author(Leila) has ample knowledge about Fiji and this can be quite beneficial for a reader who wants to volunteer especially in Fiji. This gives a great image of the author and makes the passage more reliable. However, there is no dialect in text one but his/her ideas have also been conveyed.

Adding to this, alliteration can be spotted in the first text e.g “remote reserves,trekking terrain,remote rural communities” This creates a rhythm and mainly adds emphasis to the words and/or phrases to engage the reader and to make sure that these words pop up. There is no use of alliteration in text two but an anaphora can be spotted e.g “I’ve learnt about what….I’ve learnt about how….” This repetition also adds emphasis to these words/phrases and grabs the reader’s attention. Both these techniques include repetition and work for the same purpose but are different.  

Last but not the least, in text one the author has written down some facts in pointers whereas, in text two there are only different sized paragraphs. For example, “1) Volunteering overseas with Raleigh….3) Many volunteering projects are….” Writing in pointers differentiates between the facts being stated and become quite important in the eyes of the reader as they stand out than the rest of the paragraphs. This insists the reader to read further and definitely increases his/her curiosity as it also gives the passage a reliable and professional look. In text two, no pointers are found but the paragraphs still work great for the reader as she successfully conveys her point of view.

In conclusion, authors of both the passages have achieved their purpose of writing merely because of the rhetorical techniques they have used. Literary devices have helped them in sharing their experiences with more detail and enthusiasm. Text one and two have greatly explained the role and features of both volunteering groups due to the authors’ choice of stylistic devices and the way they conveyed their ideas and feelings.

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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