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Author, audience, purpose in writing

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Conducting a rhetorical context evaluation about writing you are assigned in college.

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Author, audience, purpose in writing

  1. 1. Alexis McMillan-Clifton Tacoma Community College
  2. 2. ●All Writing, from grocery lists to lengthy books, is constrained by the factors surrounding it. ●These factors are known as the Rhetorical Context. oWho the author is oWho the intended audience is oWhat purpose it’s written for Alexis McMillan-Clifton Tacoma Community College
  3. 3. Author Audience Purpose Written Text Alexis McMillan-Clifton Tacoma Community College
  4. 4. ●Consider the 3 sides of the triangle as a prewriting strategy for writing you do in college Alexis McMillan-Clifton Tacoma Community College
  5. 5. Author Audience Purpose Written Text ●What unique experiences or knowledge do you have about this subject matter? ●Why is this subject important to you? ●Why did you select this subject, in particular? Alexis McMillan-Clifton Tacoma Community College Think about yourself as the author…
  6. 6. Author Audience Purpose Written Text Authors usually have a specific group, or TARGET AUDIENCE, in mind as they write. This does not mean that other groups cannot understand the text, or benefit from reading it. The TARGET AUDIENCE is the group that is going to be most directly affected by the text’s thesis, or purpose. Examples: mothers of toddlers; teenagers interested in martial arts; your grandfather, yourself… Alexis McMillan-Clifton Tacoma Community College Think about who you envision as your reading audience…
  7. 7. ●THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A “GENERAL AUDIENCE” ! ●All audiences are constrained by certain elements: oLanguage the text is written in (only people who can understand the language can read it) oEducation level demanded by vocabulary (differences between what a 4th grader can understand, vs. someone in high school, vs. someone with higher degrees in Physics) oExamples or references made in the text (someone in Wisconsin would have no idea what “Bumbershoot” is, for instance) Alexis McMillan-Clifton Tacoma Community College
  8. 8. Author Audience Purpose Written Text What is the reason you’re writing this text? Something you write for yourself will look different than something you write with others in mind. Most college writing’s purpose will connect directly with the assignment you’ve been given. Alexis McMillan-Clifton Tacoma Community College Think about the purpose you have for writing…
  9. 9. ●There are quick answers to the “author/ audience/ purpose roles: For most writing assignments you’ll have in college, Alexis McMillan-Clifton Tacoma Community College
  10. 10. Author Audience Purpose Written Text Why does who you are matter to the essay you’ve written? For one thing, the thesis statement will be your personal opinion (though that opinion will be supported by evidence). You’ll also be making personalized choices at every stage of the writing process: which prewriting you find effective, which sources you consult first, and so forth. Alexis McMillan-Clifton Tacoma Community College
  11. 11. Author Audience Written Text Purpose In defining the audience, the most obvious answer is your professor who assigned the essay. But who else would benefit from reading your work here? THAT’S the audience you should direct your text towards. Your professor will assess how well you meet the needs of the target audience, not how well you speak to him or her directly in the essay. Alexis McMillan-Clifton Tacoma Community College
  12. 12. Author Audience Written Text Purpose And, of course you want to get an “A” on your paper. That’s a good goal to have. Larger than that consideration, though, what is the purpose of this assignment? Why does the professor want you to learn or discover through this process? Grading rubrics can provide good insight to this, if they’re available. Class conversation is also a good clue. If you’re unsure about the purpose, talking directly to your instructor about it is advisable. Alexis McMillan-Clifton Tacoma Community College

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