Author's Purpose. An author's purpose is simply his or her reason for writing.Common purposes include: --to inform (to give information) --to instruct (to explain how to do something) --to persuade (to convince readers to do or believe something) --to entertain (to present
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1. Determining the Authorís Purpose, Tone, Point of View, and Intended Audience
2. Authorís Purpose An authorís purpose is simply his or her reason for writing.
Common purposes include:
--to inform (to give information)
--to instruct (to explain how to do something)
--to persuade (to convince readers to do or believe
--to entertain (to present humor or other enjoyable
3. Authorís Tone Tone refers to the authorís use of words and writing style to convey his or her attitude towards a topic.
If you misinterpret the tone (such as sarcasm), you may misinterpret the message.
Tone and purpose go together.
Ask yourself what the authorís voice would sound like if he or she had spoken the words rather than written them.
4. Authorís Intended Meaning The authorís intended meaning is what the author wants readers to understand, even if the words appear to be saying something different.
A sarcastic tone, for example, can change the meaning completely.
Ask yourself, ďWhat is the authorís real meaning?Ē
5. Authorís Point of View An authorís point of view refers to his or her position on an issue or, in other words, the authorís opinion or belief regarding an issue.
--Authors may have conflicting points of view (opinions) about controversial issues.
--When authors favor one side of an issue, they are said to have a bias in favor of that side of the issue.
--Authors may be unbiased (neutral or objective).
6. Authorís Intended Audience Intended audience means the people the writer has in mind as the readers.
The intended audience will be
--a specific person (e.g., a newspaper editor)
--a group of people (e.g., college students, parents)
--the general public (e.g., the public at large; the ďtypicalĒ American adult)
7. The Edge: Pointers from the Coach Understanding the authorís purpose, tone, point of view, and intended audience are complementary skills. Understanding one skill helps you understand the others.
If you think the purpose is to inform, think about whether there is a more precise way to describe it. (For example, if it informs you about how to do something, call it instruct.)
Authors sometimes state their purpose.
Authorís point of view is also called the ďauthorís argument.Ē
8. The Edge (continued) In literature, ďpoint of viewĒ means the person through whose eyes the story is being told.
The authorís tone helps you understand the authorís intended (real) meaning.
There are many words that can be used to describe an authorís tone.
Donít confuse a description of a topic with a description of the tone. (A sad topic could be presented in a neutral tone.)
Be specific about who the intended audience is. (Do not say the intended audience is ďthe readers.Ē Tell who those readers would be.)