Q) How has the writer of the text used style and language to convey meaning? By Noorliza Rashid.


This passage is an extract taken from ‘The Washington Post’. The author of the passage is ‘Sarah Kaplan’. The passage is titled, ‘Human Noise Pollution is Everywhere, even in the National Parks’. The passage is an article written for a newspaper. The passage is interactive as well as persuasive. The purpose of the passage is to explain clearly the adverse effects of noise pollution on the natural environment. The syntax and lexis used in the passage are quite simple and understandable. The passage is informational. The audience meant for this passage are young adults and adults.

In this passage the author frequently interacts with the audience. For example “you’re almost hearing your own heartbeat” and “ we really should think about soundscapes too”. The reader maintains interest throughout the passage and finds answers to his questions through these interactions. The reader pays attention and remains attentive throughout the passage.

The author has also provided the audience with some statistics and facts. For example , ‘63 percent of protected areas experienced at least a 3 decibel increase in sound levels’ and ‘14 percent of critical habitats were in the 10 decibel category’. The use of statistics makes the audience aware of the situation being discussed at hand. It also shows that the author is well researched on the topic and wishes for the audience to agree with the point of view. This passage has also named some researches by scientists for example

“When we think about wilderness, we think about dark skies going to see outstanding scenery”, says Meghan Mckenna a scientist with the National Park Service’s Natural sounds and Night Skies. This shows that the author has done research on the topic to prove her point and provides the audience with evidence of what she wishes to prove.

The author has used figures of speech such as alliterations and hyperbole. For example ‘problem pervades’ , ‘tricky task’ , ‘human health’ and ‘specific site’. Alliterations focus the reader’s attention on a particular part of a text. They also provide detail and depth and make the text understandable to the reader, there is also a use of hyperbole in the text.

For example when the author says ‘shattering the fragile calm’ etc. the use of hyperbole in a text exaggerates a point trying to be made. As we can see in the example above the use of hyperbole has made the reader aware of the consequences and the damages faced by the environment. 

This passage includes a lot of personification. The use of personification connects the reader with the object that is being personified. It also makes the descriptions of non-human entities understandable to the reader as they provide the reader with detail.

For example ‘growling car engines’ , ‘ whispering branches of trees’ and ‘ the whispering of the tree through craggy mountaintops’. We know that the cars can’t actually growl or the trees can’t actually whisper so it becomes clear to the reader that the author is actually trying to explain the loud noises caused by the car engines and how quiet are the areas surrounding the mountains.

The main theme or the underlying statement of this passage is to make it clear to the readers of the causes, damages and effects caused by noise pollution. The readers remain interacted throughout the passage. The author has also used rhetorical questions such as ‘it’s shocking,right?’. Use of such questions makes the reader automatically agree with the reader.

In conclusion the author has used many literary techniques such as figures of speech.

She has given several researches, quotes, examples and facts to prove her point. The point of view and perspective is made clear to the readers who easily understand its importance that is being conveyed to them.

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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