English Language - Purpose and Audience

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There are four Common Purposes of writing

The purpose of the text means the reason it has been written - what the writer is trying to do. All non-fiction texts are written for one or more of these reasons:

  • To Inform - Tell the reader about something.                                                                    - Add to their understanding of a subject
  • To entertain - Enjoyable to read.                                                                                    - Make the reader feel something.
  • To Argue or Persuade - Give the writer's opinion.                                                              - Get the reader to agree with them
  • To Advise - Help the reader to do something.                                                                         - Give instructions on what to do. 

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Tone and Style are closely related

  • In the same way that there are different tones of voice when people speak, e.g. calm, angry, friendly, there are different tones that writers can use.
  • Style is to do with the type of language and techniques a writes uses, for example formal or informal.
  • Writers choose a style and tone that's appropriate for the audience they're writing for and the purpose of writing.

When you're reading a non-fiction text, remember to think about:

  • who the author is writing for (audience)
  • what they're trying to do (purpose)
  • how they write (style and tone)
  • how much you think they succeed.

Some texts have more than one purpose, e.g. travel books are generally meant to entertain, as they're full of interesting little stories, but they're usually informative too.

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