Monthly Archives: October 2021

Q) Describe an antique store. By Ayesha Amirzeb Sheikh

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I entered the store. The bell on the top of the door jingles informing the owner that another customer has entered the shops. As I enter and take my first few steps my nostrils and mouth are filled with the smell of dust. I can feel the dust particles go down my throat as I try to swallow the foul taste. There are shelves and shelves filled with unusual objects. The whole store seems to be covered with dust. This store has so much dust that you can actually see the dust in the air and will also notice the difference in color of the air. Outside the store the air is clean and fresh here the air is stale. The store is rather sad as there’s nothing which isn’t covered in dust. 

I move my index finger along the dust-colored walls to find it instantly turn black due to the amount of dust. Though everything here is covered in dust yet there seems to be some kind of magic in the air. 

The store is filled with amazing magical items. It almost seems like I’m Alice, and now I’ve entered Wonderland except this time through a door not a rabbit hole. Shelves filled with old treasured books, strange looking silverware, unusually looking clocks, some which are moving at two times the actual speed and even statues of strange people. There were statues of Greek Gods as well. A two faced statue, one face was smiling and the other crying. The marble was smooth under my fingers and I touched the statue. Beautiful paintings of different Lords of ancient time. Ancient radios, cycles, chairs, books and furniture. 

There were some… interesting things as well like pebbles, worn out summer gloves claiming to be powerful, hats claiming to make the wearer invisible, a broken umbrella which declared to protect the holder from bats. Clocks with five hands instead of two, one of which was moving at such a great speed you could barely see it.

There was a whole shelf for old books. Some books are declared to be read by famous Kings and Queens of the past. Books which were shelf-worn, having bumped corners covered in dust, the spine falling apart indicating how many times it had been read before. Some books I could recognize like Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice while others are foreign. 

One section was filled with instruments. Olden instruments were placed in that corner. Trumpets, drums, harmoniums, mouth organs, flutes and many more. Some are so tempting that I risk moving a finger against the strings of an old guitar. I can feel the deep vibrations as a beautiful sound is emitted. 

Some things actually catch my eye like silverware, suited for a Queen. In one corner there are jewellery said to be found from treasure chests of Queens. The jewelry was very catchy. Gold rings and necklaces, silver earrings and many more. There were rusted coins and stamps, sundials,water clocks and even some religious books.

There’s peace and quiet in the store. I can even hear the creak of wood under my feet as I move forward to explore. I can even hear the creaking of the not-properly oiled fan moving at such a slow pace yet still the store is rather cool.

This antique store is magical. You can feel the souls and spirits of the previous Lords, Ladies, Kings and Queens coming and going. The store might be empty yet it’s actually alive.

Paragraph Writing by Javeria Asif

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Ding Dong. The bell rang, it’s high pitched tones forcing their way into my eardrums, making themselves heard. Hastily, I dragged myself out of bed and padded towards the doorstep, my cat, Minnie trailing closely behind. Who could be at my house this early? I rarely had visitors and when I did, none of them had the audacity of showing up before the crack of dawn. Minnie, interrupting my curiosity, whined at my feet, demanding breakfast. Sighing, I took a quick detour to the kitchen and slapped some fresh fish into her bowl, which she seemed quite pleased with judging by the approving look she gave me – that cat! Finally reaching my door, I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes to see a great big brown box. I tried lifting it up, to no avail, so eventually I just dragged it inside. It was sealed as tightly as a caterpillar enclosed in its cocoon before metamorphosis into a butterfly. Once I managed to open it up, I was graced with a peculiar sight: the box was full to the brim with seashells and earrings;  an odd combination. 

Paragraph Writing By Marium Faisal

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I once went on a trip with my friends to the Southside Beach. We made a plan and settled for 17th October. We were excited to check the beach in winters. Sooner afterwards, James rang the bell in my house as I was the one who had to take all my friends to the beach. I took James and picked Sara as well as Arthur. It took us half an hour to reach there. We quickly ran to the beach in excitement and found a couple of sea shells. Sara collected the ones she really liked. We also discovered a dead fish in plan sight, it looked unsightly. However, even after that, we went to get some food as we were famished and then we headed back home. Later onwards, I realised I had lost one of my earrings back at the beach. I was upset but I refused to drive for half an hour again. 

‘Last night I dreamt…’ By Raasia Khan

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Last night I dreamt, well – a confusing nightmare, and less a dream. A simple, plain, empty pathway; a road, with the snow melting, and weeping willow trees slowly returning from a sublime white to a lush green. Not much happening that I could see, almost silent with small scuffles here and there; seemed like this would be one peaceful dream. But obviously, that had to change, Raasia can’t ever have even one good dream; I should’ve known.

 Unexpectedly – and annoyingly – I was jerked into another dimension, and so quickly that I almost fell back due to the inertia. Televisions, all around, news reporters, different languages and dialects, and the TV’s in all sizes and graphics, but all of them seemingly discussing the same thing. Flu? Well, flu wasn’t much of a serious issue anymore, so why were they still broadcasting clips of people hospitalised and on oxygen? Maybe I was seeing the past. But wait – pandemic, and I heard 2021? Influenza was a major issue back in the 1900s, so this couldn’t possibly be that. I turned my head toward a TV displaying what looked like a virus; the reporter called it the novel coronavirus? Looking around toward other screens; maybe some were broadcasting something I actually understood. But just as my eyes landed on a TV screen where the news reporter was shouting something in Urdu, there was another jerk, and instead of TV’s, there were fires. 

Deers running around, kangaroos – Australia? Why was it burning? I could see trees collapsing, sounds of animals in agony. I was so intrigued by the flaming red, and grasped by the scene around me, I forgot to watch out for myself and before I knew it, a huge bark, with its coarse wood on fire, was about to crash onto me. I froze in shock, my nerves not being able to react, but it somehow fell right through me. I was in this false reality but I was simply (and thankfully) in something of a viewing mode. Smoke going up, bushes ablaze, broken legs of limping marsupials and all I could do was watch. The grass beneath me lit up and burnt as I fell through into another scene.

Ah, people. People, but not society as I knew it.

 A lockdown. Shutters and blinds being shut, everyone with a mask on and those who weren’t, being fined by those who were. Everyone afraid of even a mere cough. As I walked along the pathway, I saw people hiding in rooms, isolating themselves. And as I was about to approach one of the open windows to discern what the situation was, I heard the blinds shut and suddenly, a new place. Again. 

Few people outside, no longer wearing masks, but still being tortured. Guns being fired, stones being thrown, even at women and children. People ordering others to get in their house right away, others begging. This was hard to see. 

I walked along, still seeing women being tortured, children reaching out for their mothers, and I flinched as they continued being hurt without mercy. 

All of a sudden, I’m in a room, a high ceiling, a desk, with the Afghan flag and some documents. A man, in a coat, at the desk, his eyebrows furrowed. Another man at the front of the desk. The man in the coat began speaking, 

‘I’m leaving. I have to resign. I’m done.’ He was making short anxious statements. ‘Taliban. They’re going to hurt us. Don’t believe a thing they say. I am leaving.’ 

Before I could hear what the other man had to say, I was in another place, and there’s now a car, with a person of colour being beaten by a white policeman. He was asking for mercy but received none. Racism. At least I knew what this was. 

It was like my head didn’t want to see what this was for longer. So, here we were, a different surrounding. Signs held up, people protesting, boards with a common hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. Many different diversities, ethnicities, accents, but all with the same goal, which as far as I could see, was getting justice for Floyd. As I shuffled along by the protest, the signs changed into ‘Freedom for Palestine’ or ‘Hands off Jerusalem.’ 

In the blink of an eye, silence. 

It was dark now, just an empty void. A few seconds of this and I began hearing some noises, my sisters singing, and my mom, my name. My eyes flicked open and as the wheels in my head started turning, I realised what I thought was simply a nightmare is actually reality. The world is in a bad place. 

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

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The passage given has been entitled as ‘getting lost’. The structure of this passage is in the form of a narrative, where the writer is recalling events they have experienced. We may also conclude that this extract has been taken from a journal or a weekly blog, where the writer writes about events that have transpired within their life. The purpose of this passage is to share an experience or moment in the writer’s life so as to amuse or enlighten others. The language used by the author in this text is highly descriptive and illustrative, where the writer describes his experience by painting a vivid picture. This text is directed more so towards travelers who may relate to such an experience, but it is important to know that the text may be interpreted and enjoyed by a wide variety of audiences as the writer’s language make it easily accessible. The writer has used a varying tone throughout, wherein the beginning of the tone is quite straightforward and informative. But as the text progresses the writer adds a subtle sub tone of humor. The writer has used a plethora of varying linguistic techniques in order to appeal this passage more towards travelers so that they can relate to such an experience but has also not used complex terminology that only travelers would understand, this allows even more people to be amused and informed by reading this text. 

Onto the main body of the passage, we can see that this text possesses various stylistic techniques in order to attract any reader towards the text and to keep their interest as they read it. One major stylistic effect the writer has used is the use of imagery in order to create vivid descriptions for the reader. “At this point in the story should mention that it was raining and that I also had an injured foot. You can now picture me limping around a completely foreign city in the pouring rain.” The quotation above proves the point about the writers use of imagery, as in this specific example we can see how the writer creates a lucid image of the situation he was in. This allows the reader to better relate to such an event and therefore prolongs the reader’s interest in the piece of writing. 

Proceeding with other examples of the writers use of stylistic devices, we can see that the writer has also used a small but feasible amount of personification in the text. Point in case, “I quickly (my battery was close to dying) downloaded the subway app for Daejeon and found the stop closest to the bus terminal.” The use of personification allows the reader to connect with that specific experience of the author. In this case, by calling his phone dead he explains the extent of the crisis he was in. It allows the reader to better understand the text. 

The writer has also used a mix of linguistic devices and effects. A major effect is the use of colloquial language. This is evident in the following quotation, “When you allow yourself to ‘go with the flow’ as some people say,” The use of colloquial language allows the writer to stay true to his tone as he now enforces a more relaxed version of his events, this allows the reader to read the passage without feeling the need to focus on each and every work and analyzing it as some would do in a formal passage. 

All in all, the writer has used a varying degree of linguistic and stylistic devices in order to achieve his main goal of trying to relate his experience towards other travelers that can relate to his experience . The write has used a varying tone which has created many different effects on the readers themselves.

Q) Explain how Karin Swanson presents her ideas and opinions about being a sports fan. By Syed Ali Hasan Rizvi

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This passage ‘I am a Sports Fan’ is adapted from an article by Karin Swanson. The theme of the passage is ‘sports’. The purpose of the passage is to inform the reader about the connection of the writer with sports or if looked from another perspective, to inform to reader that females can also enjoy sports or invest their time in it.The language used in this passage is colloquial, engaging, casual, inclusive, and simple with the use of compound words. The tone of the passage is opinionated. The audience consists of young adults, adults, sports enthusiasts/people who read sports articles in their free time.

The passage is written in a first-person perspective which immediately puts the reader inside the narrator’s head, which allows for an intimate portrayal of thoughts and emotions. The extent of casual/informal language used can be highlighted as the writer has used colloquial language in the passage such as ‘hang out with the guys’ and ‘underdogs’. This creates a conversational tone between the reader and the writer hence, giving a relaxing effect. Rich vocabulary such as ‘perpetuate’, ‘stereotypes’, and ‘intensely scrutinizes’ is also used, through this the writer is able to express herself with even bigger depths.

Then, in ending of the introduction the use of parenthesis can also be seen; ‘(least of all college basketball)’, providing the reader with supplementary information. The utilization of Em dashes/long dashes in the second paragraph: ‘In my experience it’s a fine line – guys typically find it attractive that a girl likes sport,…’ and ‘But, there are many different sorts of fans – some people just care about a particular team…’ adds emphasis and the writer’s experience is shared easily and manifestly with the reader.

Furthermore, Karin Swanson has also given references side by side, such as ‘the football World Cup’, ‘Olympics’, ‘East Coast of America’, and ‘UCLA basketball game.’ This persuades the reader and makes the writer’s ideas and opinions more clear.

The writer has used multiple figures of speech in the passage to heighten effect and to convey her ideas and opinions. Starting off with Metaphor. To wit, ‘putting blind faith in a group of people you will probably never meet’, ‘team hit the court’, ‘solid five years’, and ‘stampeded’. Through this the writer basically adds spice and a layer of richness to her writing, and conveys vivid imagery to the reader in order to transcend literal meanings.

Secondly, the writer has used Alliteration, shown by, ‘sacrificed sleep’ and ‘through thick and thin’. This adds emphasis and reinforces meaning.

The writer has used exaggeration in her passage. Point the case, ‘sacrificed sleep’ and ‘stuck with them through thick and thin’. This makes it easier for the reader to understand what the writer is trying to share or persuade by dramatically reinforcing the point.

Next, the writer has given statistics in the second last paragraph (line number 40) which is ‘Peruvians at 12,000 feet along the Inca trail’. Through the evidence provided by Karin Swanson, her statement is supported and the reader is positioned and persuaded easily. 

Finally, the writer has used repetition in the conclusion of the passage; ‘regardless of gender or class or ideology or age.’ The repetition of ‘or’ creates rhythm and the reader finds it more interesting. Through the use of repetition in the ending of the passage, emphasis and prominence is given to the conclusion of the passage.

Winding up, the writer has used a variety of techniques such as humour, exaggeration, anecdote, phrasal verbs, idiomatic phrases, along with inclusive and colloquial language. The ‘cherry on top’ being the linguistic elements, simple vocabulary, and figures of speech such as Metaphor and Alliteration. It would be correct to say that the writer, Karin Swanson was successful to engage the reader and also perpetuate the audience’s interest.

Q) ‘We rely on modern technology too much’. Discuss. By Ali Ul Qudur

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Nowadays in this fast-moving world, it is hardly impossible to manage time and follow the timetable, teach or learn effectively, and also being there for someone on time. The solution to all this fuss, our reliance on modern technology. Since times have changed, responsibilities and time tables have also drastically changed for those who have other fish to fry. The questions that arise are: Should we really rely on modern technology? Is modern technology the new normal or should we consider the old lifestyle of getting things done? Does it have harmful effects on our society and the new generation? All these questions will be discussed in the following passage.

Supporters of the topic believe that we should rely on technology such as autopilot in modern vehicles. They believe so because it has improved for the better and so that drivers can easily interact with the passengers(mostly children) or complete a task to save time. Elon Musk, owner of Tesla confidently states, “Autopilot uses cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar to see and sense the environment around the car.” He further states that without this, “a driver alone would not otherwise have” the awareness. Similarly, an avid user of the same technology also states, “I’ve been using this technology since the day I purchased my first self-driving vehicle and it has saved a lot of my time. I usually do my breakfast and go through the news while it drives through the highway.”

However, people against the topic argue that we should not toy around with this technology especially in crowded areas as it could damage public property or result in fatality. James Smith, a senior traffic warden, said, “In the past 2 years there has been an increase in self-driving vehicles and traffic violations. I’ve noticed that most vehicles with the self-driving feature have jumped traffic signals and stop signs. The technology still has room for improvement but drivers should not rely on it completely.” Similarly, Alexandra Clark, an ordinary citizen stated, “We should not rely on modern technology like this until it is foolproof and smart enough of its surroundings. I am devastated at the loss of my only nephew. An owner used the summon feature of his vehicle which rammed the car into the fence and over the child.”

At the same time, advocates of the topic maintain that the world-wide-web had 4.57 billion active users as of July 2020. The use of the internet has also improved our means of communication and has boosted online purchasing and trade. A mother of two and a wife, Sarah Peck, states, “I don’t have a lot of time to go to the supermarket so I purchase whatever I want online. Yes, it is comparatively expensive but it saves a lot of time and I utilize it with my family.” Likewise, the Globe Magazine stated, “Stay indoors during this uncertain time. The internet has always been there for us. It’ll be there when you need to purchase pharmaceutical drugs, it’ll be there when you’re craving for dessert, it’ll be there for your groceries. But most importantly, it’ll be there when you want to connect with your loved one.”

In retrospect, opponents of the topic maintain that we shouldn’t rely on online shopping apps/websites as those users are susceptible to hackers. They believe that dealers online do not believe in the term ‘What you see is what you get’. A parent stated, “My son’s confidence level has decreased because of the advancements in technology. He purchases whatever he wants and relies on online stores even after being scammed numerous times and this has resulted in him being a socially awkward and shy teenager who doesn’t have the confidence to walk inside a store.” Similarly, a once avid online purchasing family stated, “We used to save our credit card information on many online stores. Most of them were renowned brands too. Some dealers used to deliver counterfeit products while others, expired. Some used to have hidden charges and used to charge us extra. Since then, we have realized that we rely on modern technology too much.”

In retrospect, opponents of the topic maintain that modern technology like virtual reality and simulations on simulators is not only a very cost-effective way of teaching and learning but also a great source of entertainment. Prof. Brain May of Oaks University stated, “This is the best method of teaching my enthusiastic learners. The diagrams are three-dimensional which encourages the students to study harder as their concepts are crystal clear. It provides outstanding visualizations that aren’t possible in the traditional classroom.” Similarly, parents of two,12 and 9, stated, “We usually explain our children the subject or topic through Virtual reality and simulations. This develops their interest and find it a fun and effective way of learning.” They further added, “On the weekends, they happily watch a three-dimensional documentary.”

On the contrary, challengers of the topic claim that there is a huge difference between the two teaching methods, and that physical models should be used. A parent of a high school student claims that her daughter should actually see body diagrams and should conduct chemistry practicals rather than ‘seeing’ them. She believes that we shouldn’t rely on VR headsets as they are incomplete and lack reactions, unlike teachers. Similarly, The University of Relations mentioned in their recent research that traditional education is based on personal human communication while virtual reality is quite different; it is you and the software, and nothing else. This can damage the relationships between students and the overall human communication. Which is why we shouldn’t rely on virtual reality.

All in all, every coin has two sides; one positive and one useless/negative. The same is the case with modern technology. But in my opinion, we should be optimistic – not pessimistic – about it, enjoy the benefits that it has brought to us and rely on it if and only if it is safe for us and the society we live in. If it is used appropriately and within the boundaries, relying on it would contribute to the development of society.

Q) You have been asked by your school or college to give a talk to your peers with the title ‘Being Lost’. By Uzair Shah

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“Hello and good evening everyone, my name is Uzair Shah. Most of you are probably already aware of that. I am from Jackson, Tennessee although I’m currently over here in Sacramento at our lovely local college. Alright I see some Tennessee fans here. Go Jaguars!

So before I get started I want to ask you all a question. How many of you go hiking on the trails at the mountains? Okay, I see some hands. Let me ask you another. How many of you have ever been lost? Alright, I see only two hands meaning not a lot. Let me tell you all something. In the past year there have been over 5,000 missing persons reports all over the country. 

Why so many you ask? Well it’s a common occurrence believe it or not. It can happen to anyone. Most people can go off path for hours before even realizing they are lost. Many missing people are eventually found and that is because they were trained with the necessary precautions of how to survive in the wilderness. As someone with experience I am going to explain to you all on how to deal with a situation like this if you were to ever get lost.

Now the first thing you do when you realize you are lost is to stay calm no matter what. You are in a dangerous situation and losing control of yourself is the last thing you would want. When I first got lost, I was lucky enough to read the survival guide early before. I was cold, I was scared, and I wanted to go home. My first instinct was to travel downhill as it was getting dark but instead I accidentally triggered a small rock avalanche which made me stumble and twist my ankle. I felt helpless and didn’t know what to do. 

Now I want to share with you all the advice that was given to me as a young cub scout which I had never forgotten and had been used to save my life. This is called the ‘STOP’ method.

‘STOP’ stands for the required steps for your best chance to get out of a given situation like this. ‘S’ stands for stop, ‘T’ stands for think, ‘O’ stands for observe, and ‘P’ means plan. If you implement these steps I guarantee you that you will have a higher chance of getting to safety. 

Now you are not done yet ladies and gentlemen. Always make sure you have a cell phone with enough bars of signal to make a call. When hiking or going somewhere that is far from any signal towers, I recommend you bring a satellite phone. Therefore you can call the emergency services on the spot. 

Suppose you do not have that and neither any service. What do you do? Well if you have plenty of day time, then you should start heading downhill. You’ll be bound to find some sort of road or populated area. If it is getting dark you should prepare yourself for the night by layering yourself and finding shelter. Water is the most essential to stay hydrated. 

You may want to keep flares with you in case a plane flies by. If all these steps are done well and correctly, the probability of you being found will be likely.

Now as you can see on the board behind me, there are some names of mental institutions all around Sacramento. Getting lost is a serious thing and you will not always be found immediately. Sometimes it could take days, weeks, or even months. It could be a very traumatizing experience and the best way to cope with it is to speak about it. 

On the other hand, those who get lost for a short amount of time, although they wouldn’t feel it then but afterwards it would seem like a thrilling sense of adventure. It would make them feel something they would have never felt before. At least, that’s what I felt that is. 

To conclude my topic, I just wanted to remind this wonderful audience what a great time I have had educating you about this. I hope you all fix this information into your minds and if unfortunately, you actually do find yourself in a situation like this, whether you’re stranded in a desert or in the heart of a forest, you now won’t have to worry as much as you would have thirty minutes ago. Thank you so much for hearing me out everybody, and have a wonderful day.”

Q) You are writing a letter to the mayor of the town explaining the causes and effects of disastrous fires. By Javeria Husain

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Australia,

Sydney,

Street #17

November 15th, 2020

Pakistan,

Islamabad,

Street #20

Subject: The Causes and Effects of Recent Disastrous Fires

Dear Mayor,

The following letter has been composed to inform the addressee the issue regarding the recent increase in wildfires that have taken place in Sydney. It is known that the residents, in large, like lighting fires as it’s fascinating to watch flames and seek comfort from them.

However, due to a variety of activities and events such as:

  • Starting bonfires on the seaside
  • Fluctuating weather conditions
  • Cooking purposes
  • Forestry being easier and common 

Due to the above listed causes, wildfires have been taking place at a large, rapid scale, and must be brought to the addresse’s attention, as it is deteriorating our current environment and so that awareness can be brought up regarding this ongoing situation.

A rather recent incident that took place in Sydney which left Pinafore Forest with a stretch of rotten meat and a foul smelling pall of smoke.  Another that took place a couple of miles away caused more lives to be taken as the fire fled into their homes at the very last moment, leaving the surviving burn victims with permanent emotional trauma and loss of family members.  More effects of the dreadful fires include:

  • Property being destroyed permanently
  • People losing their jobs as offices burnt down
  • Global Warming taking place
  • Many houses being burnt in villages
  • Overall increase in air pollution 
  • Worsening living conditions

Facing this above crisis, and their long term effects, instant damage control is needed and important. These can be countered by utilising the Governments full and effective support such as managing the things that burn, clearing areas which are around grass for houses to be built, not building houses in forests, and having easy to contact, speedy units to atone to spreading wildfires, while saving people, too.

Strict laws and building restrictions can be imposed, to alert citizens and help minimise wildfires and its negative aftermath.

I hope the addressee takes this letter into consideration and takes immediate action against this issue.

Yours Sincerely,

Javeria Husain.