Understanding Writing Situations

What is the Writer's Purpose?

Every writer has a purpose for writing. In fact, most writers have multiple purposes. A student writing an essay for a class might want to accomplish several things, including completing the particular assignment as required, learning something new, improving writing skills, convincing others to adopt a particular point of view about an issue, and getting a good grade. An employee working on a project st

atus report for a business might want to convey key information to his or her superiors, earn a manager's approval, perform well enough to earn a promotion, and gain valuable experience in project management. Understanding a writer's purposes can help you understand one of the most important aspects of the writing situation. Among other factors, identifying a writer's purposes can help you understand the writer's decisions about the content, structure, and design of a document.

As a writer, understanding your purposes can help you in virtually every aspect of your writing process. Knowing what you want to accomplish will help you select your topic, consider your readers' needs and interests, and choose appropriate evidence to support your points. It will also help you with decisions regarding tone, style, and document design.

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Introduction