Q) How has the writer of the text used style and language to convey meaning? By Areesha Fatima


This article which is taken from ‘The Washington Post’ is titled, ‘Some birds are so stressed by noise pollution that it looks like they have PTSD’ has an unnamed author. Informative is the main purpose along with the writer’s cheerful tone even though the bluebird’s struggle is being discussed. A profound dialect with a scientific touch can be seen throughout the text. The audience seems to be mainly people interested in animals and their science(zoology) however anyone could give this a read. The theme of this text is noise pollution affecting some birds.

Firstly, right in the second paragraph, the writer has added humour. For example, “Scientists couldn’t ask the bluebird what she was feeling.” This technique basically provokes slight laughter and also tends to engage the reader as a negative, distressing thing which are the bluebird’s feelings have been turned into something positive.

Moreover, opinion can also be seen in the text. For example, “…said Rob Guralnick, associate curator of biodiversity informatics at the Florida Museum of Natural History” “But in a paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.” This gives the text more weightage and the sharing of opinions gives a broader view of thinking as one thing can be seen from different perspectives. It gives the text a more reliable look.

Furthermore, facts. Facts always grab the reader’s attention e.g. “about 75 yards from a natural gas compressor.” “as part of a study of 240 nesting sites surrounding natural gas treatment facilities in northern New Mexico.” This connotes that the reader is well-informed and it gives authority to the passage as a reader will agree or disagree with the points being made with a wider aspect.

Additionally, alliteration has also been written by the author. For example, “small and scantily” “conservation concern”  These engage the reader and add emphasis to the words and/or phrases as the repetition of the first alphabet does so.

Fifthly, the author has used rhetorical questions and further gained the reader’s attention which can be seen by, “Why is hearing so important to health?” This one question encourages the reader to think, think a lot so that the question asked by the author remains in the reader’s mind. This technique automatically creates a connection between the reader and the writer as the reader feels as if the author is directly asking him/her the question. 

Also, the cheerful tone of the author can not go unnoticed. Where he/she talks about the effects of noise pollution on bluebirds and disorders that may arise in animals, he/she also brings a positive point of view into the text. For example, ‘“It gets really tricky,” Francis said. “We’re going to need to come up with with some really creative experiments to sort this out.”’ So this way of uplifting the positivity in an issue, clearly depicts the author’s tone and mood while writing the text. This also engages the reader and grabs the reader’s attention.

In conclusion, these stylistic devices and rhetorical techniques used by the author have successfully achieved the writer’s purpose of writing.

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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