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Determining the Author’s Purpose, Tone, Point of View, and Intended Audience Chapter 10
© 2008 McGraw-Hill Higher Education Chapter 10: Determining the Author's Purpose, Tone, Point of View, and Intended Audience 2 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 humor or other enjoyable material)
© 2008 McGraw-Hill Higher Education Chapter 10: Determining the Author's Purpose, Tone, Point of View, and Intended Audience 3 Author’s Tone Tone refers to the author’s 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 author’s voice would sound like if he or she had spoken the words rather than written them.
© 2008 McGraw-Hill Higher Education Chapter 10: Determining the Author's Purpose, Tone, Point of View, and Intended Audience 4 Author’s Intended Meaning The author’s 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, “What is the author’s real meaning?”
© 2008 McGraw-Hill Higher Education Chapter 10: Determining the Author's Purpose, Tone, Point of View, and Intended Audience 5 Author’s Point of View An author’s point of view refers to his or her position on an issue or, in other words, the author’s 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).
© 2008 McGraw-Hill Higher Education Chapter 10: Determining the Author's Purpose, Tone, Point of View, and Intended Audience 6 Author’s 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 “typical” American adult)
© 2008 McGraw-Hill Higher Education Chapter 10: Determining the Author's Purpose, Tone, Point of View, and Intended Audience 7 The Edge: Pointers from the Coach Understanding the author’s 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. Author’s point of view is also called the “author’s argument.”
© 2008 McGraw-Hill Higher Education Chapter 10: Determining the Author's Purpose, Tone, Point of View, and Intended Audience 8 The Edge (continued) In literature, “point of view” means the person through whose eyes the story is being told. The author’s tone helps you understand the author’s intended (real) meaning. There are many words that can be used to describe an author’s tone. Don’t 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 “the readers.” Tell who those readers would be.)
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