Who Am I Writing For and What Do I want My Writing to Do ...
Who Am I Writing For and What Do I want My Writing to Do? Adapted from my The Purpose of Texts Power Point. Whether youre writing a business email, a letter to a friend, a story or an information leaflet, you need to think about the following: Who am I writing to/for? What is/are the main purpose(s) of my writing? What register and tone should I use? Should it be formal or informal? What kind of language and words should I use to create the right tone and register for my text? Audience: Who is the Text Aimed At? What Does it Do? For example, people who enjoy reading fiction- particularly if the story is set in the past- might want to read The Book Thief. This text tells a fictional story but also contains factual historical information.
A serious newspaper, such as 'The Independent' would probably appeal to people who are interested in politics and current affairs (what is happening in the world.) This text gives this kind of information. Use of Language: Register and . Tone The register of a text refers to how formal the language is. Definition from English Grammar Today (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/formal-andinformal-language) We use formal language in situations that are serious or that involve people we dont know well. Informal language is more commonly used in situations that are more relaxed and involve people we know well. Formal language is more common when we write;
informal language is more common when we speak. However, there are times where writing can be very informal, for example, when writing postcards or letters to friends, emails or text messages. There are also examples where spoken English can be very formal, for example, in a speech or a lecture. Informal Vs Formal Language Winston Churchill: We Shall Fight on the Beaches speech (1940) The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end; we shall fight in France;
we shall fight on the seas and oceans Seriously, the Brits and French are gonna have to stick together on this un and go full out against them Nazis, or were all screwed. They mightve got their grubby mitts on half o Europe, but theres no way theyre takin over us or France- Hell can freeze over first! I dont care where we have to fight em- and well fight them with the butt ends of broken beer bottles if we have to, but they wont beat us Style, Tone and Language These help you to identify the intended audience of the text and how the author of the text wants the reader to feel. For example, the tone of the letter to the friend (Slide 5) is personal, informal, conversational and friendly.
In contrast, the tone of the business letter is formal and less personal. It delivers information in a business-like manner and uses terms that relate to a specialised industry/area of knowledge. 11 Kitty Mews, Bradford, BD56 2BQ 01/09/2016. 34 Ginger Lane, Leeds,
LS62 )ZY Hi hon, Hi- a casual and friendly greeting Love from- an affectionate signoff. Calling the recipient hon and wishing her/his family well gives the letter a personal and affectionate tone. Hope youre all OK. Im glad you enjoyed your holiday in Cornwall (wish I could have joined you- sounds a lot more fun than staying here and working in Sunny Bradford!) Hope youre all OK- the subject of the sentence (I) is dropped to shorten
it and you are is contracted to youre. This sounds more casual and friendly. Were OK and looking forward to the festival at the weekend- the lineups fantastic this year and I cant wait to see Maiden live! Ill ring you on Mon evening for a The letter contains personal details and conveys the writers excitement. This shows that the writer and recipient are friends because they are evidently interested in each others lives and families/friends. The greeting and signoff in this letter are formal. The recipient is addressed by a title (Mr) and his surname and the writer signs her
full name. The writer also states her professional position. The writer begins by referring to a specific letter sent by the recipient (Mr Patricks) and summarises the his business request. The letter uses formal language and avoids contracted forms (Im, youre etc.) It deals with the precise matter discussed in Mr Patricks original letter and avoids personal and emotional topics and questions. Bullet points are used to organise the information. This keeps it clear (easy to read and understand) and concise (fairly short.) Industry-specific terms and acronyms are used. Purpose
Explanation and Examples Entertain Novels, stories and songs entertain, but they may also want us to think about issues and ideas. They may use suspense, humour, excitement, narrative, themes, topics and emotion. They may also make you identify with or feel interested in characters and events. Describe Fiction and non fiction texts may describe people, places, events and experiences. Biographies,
travel writing, stories and poems often use a lot of description, so you will probably encounter lots of adjectives and adverbs. Purpose Explanation and Examples Inform These types of text tell you (or inform) you about something. This could be a textbook, a website such as the one for the Citizens Advice Bureau, a news article or even an advert or magazine article that contains information. Instruct Instructive texts also give information. This is often done in a step-by-step manner, with a list
of actions to take to help you to achieve a specific goal. It may also contain pictures/ diagrams. Examples include recipes, instruction manuals and leaflets, and maps. Purpose Advise Explanation and Examples A text giving advice will suggest ways of dealing with problems and tell you what your options are. A careers advice leaflet will advise you about possible jobs, while a problem page will give advice to readers about their problems. The Citizens Advice Bureau can offer legal advice and help you with debts, housing, applying for citizenship and what to do if you are being treated unfairly at work. Argue These texts argue a point of view or opinion. Some
writers will give a balanced view, by putting forward both sides of an argument. Others will argue for or against something. Some arguments are very persuasive and use facts and evidence to support a viewpoint. You often find arguments in political texts and newspaper reports. Purpose Explanation and Examples Persuade Some texts will persuade you to support a certain view (e.g. that fox hunting is wrong and cruel.) Others will persuade you to do something (e.g. give money to a charity or buy something.) They may use arguments, facts and evidence or certain ideologies (for example, World War I posters often used the ideas of masculinity and sense of duty to ones country that
were popular in Britain in this era.) Adverts often try to persuade you that their product is better than similar products and/ or use images to make the product seem desirable (if you buy this product, your life will become more exciting/ fun/ glamorous etc.) (adapted from Collins KS3 Revision English) Remember that a text may serve more than one purpose. For example, novels are
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