Purpose and Audience

Section 1: Understanding Purpose and Audience

  • The purpose of a text is the reason why the writer has created it. This could be to inform, persuade, describe, instruct or entertain.
  • Understanding the purpose can help decipher the style, tone, structure and language used in the text.
  • The audience refers to the people the text is aimed at. These could vary in age, gender, background, culture, profession or interests.
  • Identifying the intended audience offers insight into the choice of subject matter, level of formality, language complexity and type of reference or examples used.

Section 2: Different Purposes of Non-fiction Texts

  • To Inform: Provides factual information or news. Examples include reports, textbooks, articles and instructional guides.
  • To Persuade: The text aims to convince the audience of the writer’s viewpoint. Advertisements, speeches, opinion pieces and reviews often have persuasive purposes.
  • To Describe: Detailed texts that aim to create an image in the reader’s mind, often seen in travel blogs or product descriptions.
  • To Instruct: These texts provide instructions or directions. Manuals, recipes, and how-to guides serve this purpose.
  • To Entertain: Texts written purely to amuse the reader, often seen in anecdotes, entertaining articles or humorous pieces.

Section 3: Considering the Audience in Non-Fiction Texts

  • Understanding the audience sheds light on decisions about language usage, style and content.
  • A text meant for specialists in a field may use jargon or technical terminology, while a text for a general audience would use more accessible language.
  • Age, social background, profession and interests of the audience can shape topic selection, approach and tone.
  • Consider not just who the text directly addresses, but also who might indirectly engage with the material.

Section 4: How Purpose and Audience Shape Non-Fiction Texts

  • The purpose and audience of a text can dictate its structure, language choice, tone, and presentation.
  • For persuasive texts, expect rhetorical devices, emotive language and persuasive arguments.
  • Informative texts likely include facts, figures, clear language and structured points.
  • Texts aiming to entertain may use humorous elements, anecdotes, or descriptive language.
  • Keep these points in mind when analysing non-fiction texts, as understanding the purpose and audience allows for more nuanced and effective comprehension and critique.