What is your purpose in life? To what end are you doing what you are doing?
Imagine you do not have to worry about making money in order for food or shelter. Everything you could ever want is now taken care of. What would you do now? What would you want to be? What would you decide to do with your time?
End of Cisneros’ Stories
The last stories are much more subtle in there messages than the first stories. To understand these stories you need to read carefully, closely, in between the lines. Try to figure out what is the author’s purpose. Why did the author write this?
Little Miracles, Kept Promises
There Was a Man, There Was a Woman
Tin Tan Tan
All writing has a purpose. When we write anything, it can be for any number of reasons. When you read a story, try to figure out why the author wrote it. What motivated them to write it? What are they trying to achieve with it?
What possible purpose can the author have? What purpose does the text have?
- To Entertain
- To Inform
- To Persuade
These are the three main purposes a text can have. These are not the only reasons. In college, we write to learn, to build knowledge, to demonstrate learning.
- To Learn
- To Build Knowledge
- To Show learning
When you are given an assignment, figure out what your purpose is. What is the text supposed to convey? Good writing is purposeful. You have to know what you want to accomplish before you can figure out how to accomplish it and if you accomplished it.
We can also think about writing within a conversation. You can write to summarize a conversation, in order to understand it. You can write to enter a conversation. Trying to add to a existing discussion.
- To understand
- To Enter a Conversation
- To Join a Conversation
Context Makes Meaning
The context of writing is what gives writing meaning. The way you structure an argument affects how it will be understood. You have to give the reader enough information and context so that they will understand and follow your point. You have to provide the context for your readers. If you fail to provide enough context the reader is left guessing. If you provide the wrong context, the reader is left confused. If you provide the right context, the reader is persuaded to see it your way.
How you set up an argument affects how it will be perceived.
If you describe Muslims as terrorist, you are setting up a context where they cannot be empathized with.
If protesters are described as criminals and trouble makers, you cannot understand their point of view.
If you describe Mexicans as rapists and murderers, you cannot see them as good people.
What is your purpose for writing? How can you set up context to suit your purpose?