Throughout my 12-year teaching career, writing was, by far, my favorite thing to teach.
No, I’m not a great writer myself, but that’s not as important as you might think. What is important is that I fell in love with writing, that I understand it’s immense value and that I have a toolbox for writing that works for me. And those are my goals for all students I work with:
- Empower students to fall in love with writing
- Genuinely and deeply value the art of writing
- Build a reliable toolbox to explore the process of writing
This video explores two small but essential tools in any writer’s toolkit:
- Audience – Who we are writing for
- Purpose – How we want to affect them
Please don’t just glance over this concept… Watch this video and soak in the details so you can apply it to your writing or help your child become a better author.
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🙏 Thanks! — Seth
Hello, this is Seth with SethPerler.com, and I’m here to tell you about audience and purpose. So hello, my author friends and students who are learning to write. Whenever you start a paper, it doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or nonfiction, but whenever you start a paper, there are certain things that you want to do to be getting the paper, to make sure that you have the right foundation or, else your paper is not going to be effective. You may get an A on the paper and I don’t care about grades. I do not care. What I care about is that you are a human being who has important things to tell and it and if your paper stinks and you know that you played the game and got an A, then I don’t care. That doesn’t impress me at all. What impresses me is if you start to build these things in and you can tell your stories effectively. I don’t care if you get an F, if you actually told your story effectively and grew as an author, that’s what I care about.
You may not think of yourself as an author, but you are. You can tell your story. I don’t care if you feel like a horrible writer, a lot of people feel like that. It doesn’t matter, trust me. This is an art to be developed. I’m going to teach you some things right now. So when you are starting to write, whether it’s nonfiction or fiction, you want to use the writing process. When you’re starting to write one of the things you’re going to do when you begin your writing is you’re going to plan your writing. That’s also called prewriting. You can prewrite/plan, that might include brainstorming, idea generation, talking to people about the ideas about what you’re writing, making an outline, making the buckets for the parts of your paper. Planning is very important. People often do not spend enough time planning and then their paper goes in a million different directions. It’s the number one thing people neglect to spend enough time on and it’s the number one most important part of the writing process. It is the first part of the writing process. So when you’re writing a paper you want to plan your paper. And then you’re going to draft, revise, edit, and publish your paper and then you’re done. The first thing you’re doing is your planning. Again, when you plan you’re going to be making the buckets, okay. So here’s a bucket. Let’s say that this bucket represents a paragraph, perhaps it’s an introduction, perhaps it’s a conclusion, perhaps it’s a body paragraph, perhaps it’s the chapter, whatever it is. A bucket contains certain ideas that go together. Again, a lot of people’s writing goes in a million different directions. You don’t want your writing to go to a million different directions. You want to have it organized so that the ideas are in containers so that the reader can take what’s within the container and digest it and makes sense of what you’re really trying to say.
Now when you are planning your paper, they’re two very very very very important things that I think all authors or writers need to very carefully consider before they start writing. Some people know these things automatically, some people really have to think about it. Those are audience and purpose.
Audience: So first, let’s start with the audience. You need to think about who you are speaking to. If you’re writing a paper for a teacher, your audience is the teacher. If you’re writing a paper for a teacher, though, but you’re really writing it for peers that are your age and you’re writing it for them, perhaps you’re writing it for, let’s say, 40-year-old people who are interested in water skiing. That’s your audience. Perhaps it’s teenagers who are interested in rock and roll. Or perhaps it’s elementary school students who want to learn an instrument. Whatever your audience is, you need to really think about who are these people. My suggestion to you is to write out who the audience is. Be as thorough as you can. Just bomb it out in a big paragraph or a bulleted list. Who are you talking to? One of those audiences is going to really be the most important one. What I want you to do when you’re writing is to imagine that you’re speaking to that person, or type of person. So really imagine that person the whole time you’re writing, your imagining that person in the audience. And believe me, the more you focus in on one person as your writing, that you were speaking to them as your writing, the better your paper will be on every single level. Number one, in your plan you must clearly know who the heck your audience is. Who are you speaking to?
Purpose: Number two on your plan, you also have to clearly know the purpose of your paper. Students very often do not take the time to identify their purpose. Their teacher tells them the purpose. They think they know the purpose, and they’re just doing what they’re told. You and your own gut need to figure out: What is your purpose? What do you want the reader to do, think, be? What effect do you want your writing to have on them? What’s the purpose of your writing? So I have a book here, just a random book. This author wrote, Brainstorm – the Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain. His audience was probably more or less parents, to explain the teenage brain to parents. And probably also wants teachers to read it and other people. But his purpose is to teach me, or whoever is the reader, whoever’s they audience, to teach about the power and the purpose of the teenage brain. So he really clearly thought about how he wants to educate his reader. You might want to entertain, your purpose might be to entertain, it might be to make them laugh, change their mind about something, take social action, or behave differently, or help themself, or whatever it is. You need to really think about why you are writing this. You have an audience who you want to affect, how do you want to affect them? And that’s your purpose.
And so there we go people, this is part of your plan. You really need to consider your audience in your purpose before you start making the buckets of information which and usually end up in your paragraphs or sections of your paper. You want to really have this very clear. I hope you have an awesome day. I’ll see you soon. Take care.
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