Analyzing Audience and Purpose

Today we’ll talk about how to analyze a writing task to determine the audience and purpose.

We’ll do the class discussion first and the in-class writing last today because I want to be sure that you understand the kind of information I’m looking for as you write your answers.

I’ll highlight some passages from Chapter 4 of Markel. The most valuable part of the chapter is the Writer’s Checklist on pp. 76–77. If you think through the answers to those questions for the writing you do, you’ll have a stronger piece of writing.

After we go over the basics, I’ll ask you to answer three questions (Who is the audience? What is the purpose? How can you tell?) for these webpages:

In-Class Writing

Go to “Tests & Quizzes” in Scholar and complete today’s in-class writing, “01/31 Audience & Purpose.” You’ll have the remainder of the class period to get your thoughts written down. Your work will be graded for effort and completeness, but minor issues in spelling, grammar, and punctuation won’t matter. NOTE: What you write today can go ultimately go into your project.


Read Markel, Chapter 6: Writing for Your Readers, and be ready to apply the information in your in-class writing. There’s lots of information in this chapter on how to write effectively and correctly. When I grade your work for issues like grammar, organization, and style, I will often point you to details from this chapter.