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English Language AS coursework - compare grammatical structures and techniques used by broadsheets and tabloids

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Introduction

Explore and compare the different grammatical structures and techniques used in an article from THE TIMES and from THE SUN regarding the earthquake in India. Broadsheets and tabloids differ. They do not share the same tone, they do not have the same purpose and they aim to appeal to a different audience. Looking at these two newspaper reports, 'At least 2,000 die in Gujarat quake' (The Times) and '2,000 DEAD IN INDIA QUAKE' (The Sun), we can see the techniques at work and the way in which they differ in each article. I intend to discover the main journalistic features and grammatical structures throughout the two articles, compare them and explain why they were used. In order to proceed, we need to analyse the language in depth to understand why particular words or phrases were chosen and the effect this vocabulary and style has on the reader. I expect to find that the intentions of the two papers are different: The Sun wants to entertain and The Times wants to inform. Tone In The Times' article the tone is informative and serious. 'In Pakistan at least 10 people were killed and 90 injured.' The sentence being written in the passive combined with the use of numbers, makes the tragedy unconnected with the reader. ...read more.

Middle

Important details in The Sun are stated in bold, such as the number of aftershocks to come,'18', and the help lines. Register The news section of The Times is always written in a formal register. 'At least 3,200 were injured.' It's written in Standard English with no abbreviations or contractions. 'There are no reports of damage....'. This style successfully appeals to a higher class of people who take interest in world affairs and not celebrity gossip. The Sun is quite the opposite: it uses colloquial language, abbreviations and contractions. 'Hols terror as towns are wiped out'. 'Hols' is an abbreviation of holiday and 'wiped out' is informal and over-exaggerated. This is typical journalese which one can expect to see in a tabloid. "It's a tragedy". The verb and the subject are contracted into one word: 'it is' becomes 'it's'. Elisions such as these are used in informal and spoken language. The choice of this informal register is due to the purpose of the paper. The latter is to appeal to people looking for an easy read. Lexis Particular words were chosen to make the story more dramatic and build an interest. The Sun's lexis consists of words such as 'terror', 'destroyed', 'wiped out', 'agony', 'massive', 'tragedy' and 'shattered' which are all part of the earthquake's semantic field. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is clearly written language, which unlike spoken language, has been carefully planned and structured. Both articles are well written because they achieve their purpose. The Sun uses a larger font with colloquial exaggerated vocabulary and The Times adopts the more formal approach. They both aim to appeal to their targeted people. The Times writes for an educated audience seeking a more challenging piece of writing. This includes businessmen, house owners, and well-educated people, which is why it is written in that degree of formality and complexity. The Sun, on the other hand, is aimed at an audience who wishes to be entertained and who is not looking to be intellectually challenged. Its objective is to appeal to the people by supporting them in moments of grief and to amuse them by spreading gossip about celebrities. As I predicted in my hypothesis, The Times wishes to inform and The Sun wishes to entertain. However, the real difference is emphasis because a journalist's job is to inform and entertain; it is simply a question of prioritising according to the paper. Word count: 1,562 Appendix: The articles used for this piece of coursework are as follows: '2,000 DEAD IN INDIA QUAKE' THE SUN, Saturday 27th January 2001. 'At least 2,000 die in Gujarat quake' & 'Rescue teams poised to fly out', THE TIMES, Saturday 27th January 2001. Sally Turner 339 English language coursework 1 ...read more.

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