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Author's Bias, Audience, Purpose, and Perspective

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Courtney Brummer

on 25 September 2013

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Transcript of Author's Bias, Audience, Purpose, and Perspective

Argument, Perspective, Bias, Purpose, and Audience

Perspective, Bias, and Argument
An author’s argument is the opinion or belief that he or she wants to persuade readers to believe.
The author’s argument is his or her point of view on an issue.
Ask yourself, “What is the author’s position on the issue?”

Purpose= the reason for communicating with someone.

Communication will fit into one of the following general categories:
To inform
To entertain
To persuade
To inspire
To express an opinion
Think about the last movie you rented or saw at the movie theater.
Who do you think the intended audience was? Why?
What do you think the purpose or point of the movie was? How do you know?
Audience= the person/people being communicated with.

To learn more about an audience, answer questions such as the
• What do you know about audiences’ age, gender, geographical
location, education, professional position, and so forth?
• What does the audience already know about the issue or idea?
• What is the audiences’ current point of view on the issue or idea?
• What background does the audience need on the issue or idea?
• What will the audience want to know about the issue or idea and
• What information will interest the audience?
• What personal information about the audience might influence their position or feelings on the issue?
Misconception: There is always one distinct audience or one distinct purpose. In fact, authors may have in mind multiple audiences, and purposes may be mixed.

Misconception: If the purpose is to entertain, then the work must be funny or have a happy ending. In this sense, "to entertain" means simply to keep you interested in what will happen next. Story telling of any kind--dramatic, action-packed, romantic, tear-jerker, you name it--all count as entertainment. So it is with the author's purpose, "to entertain."
**Remember, audience and author's purpose go hand in hand, and you will be a better reader if you devote time to identifying your author's intended audience and purpose.
A person who prefers one thing above another has a bias. As you read, see if you can find any author bias. Does the author seem to favor, or like, some things more than others? Maybe the author has written about several famous athletes, but you can tell the author really likes one of the athletes the best. The author is showing a bias.

Biased OR Unbiased??
1. "Everyone should buy an American car," Lance said on his way to work at the automobile factory.
2. It is fair to say that no matter which way one votes, all Americans should vote.
Authors often have strong feelings about the subjects they write about. If they do,
they might let their bias show, or they might try to sneak a little bias by you.

A person is said to have a bias if the person has a strong feeling either for or
against something. You might like German shepherds more than other kinds
of dogs because your grandmother has one. In that case, you would have a bias
in favor of German shepherds. Another person could have a bias against German shepherds because he was bitten by one.

Read carefully and remember that you need to be on the lookout for author's bias.
Try thinking about these things as you read:

The Writer
Find out what you can about the writer. Is there information that hints that the writer might have a certain bias? For example, maybe the writer of an article criticizing the governor is planning to run against the governor in the next election.

The Reason
Ask yourself the reason the piece was written. Is someone trying to influence you to buy a product? To change your mind about something? To support a cause?

The Rest of the Story
Before you make up your mind on any issue, make sure you've gathered all the important information. Even if you disagree with someone, knowing the reasons for his or her position cannot hurt.

Dear Mayor Owen,

Last year our neighborhood was hit over and over again by robbers. Our neighbors' homes were broken into, and our own car was stolen! Police Chief Nee came herself to our neighborhood to reassure us that the police department was going to help us. Soon we had several police cars patrolling our neighborhood 24 hours a day. I would like to suggest that you issue a special recognition to our police department and Chief Nee.

Mr. Rex Harrison

Why has Mr. Harrison developed such a positive bias toward the police department?
You should realize that Mr. Harrison has become a fan of the police department because it helped him and his neighbors when they were having a terrible problem with robberies in their neighborhood.
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