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Purpose, Tone, and Bias

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Melody Kowach

on 3 October 2013

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Transcript of Purpose, Tone, and Bias

Purpose, Tone, and Bias
The author's purpose answers the question:
Why is the author writing?
The author's tone shows you how he feels towards his subject matter, and the emotion he wants you to feel as well.
Bias is a subjective or slanted view of something.
Why is it important to be able to read critically and identify an author's purpose, tone, and bias?
Learning to recognize an author's purpose and tone in a text can help you not only better understand what an author is trying to say, but understand their stance on a subject, and to know if everything they are saying is 100% reliable.
3 Common Purposes:
Try to have audience think a certain way.
to convince the reader to agree with the author’s point of view on a subject.
Tries to get the audience to act
Uses both facts and opinions
To Teach Or Define

Avoids Opinions
To amuse
Uses humor, wit, irony
Can also be scary, thought provoking, or suspenseful, anything that entertains
To appeal to the reader’s senses and imagination.
To give information about a subject
How can we tell what the tone is?
The author's choice of words
Pay attention to the descriptive words used.
Some tone words:
•One commonly used tone is irony.

•Irony involves a contrast between expectations and reality.
A note on Irony:
In contrast, an objective view is meant to inform, and has no bias, or personal opinion..
**Bias can either be
It can be either for or against a certain topic or point of view.
Let's Practice:
Wal-Mart may create an economic underclass in our town. Its employees aren’t paid enough to live on, and they have very poor benefits.

The tone is: A. optimistic B. worried C. threatening
Wal-Mart is a fact of life. It’s going to hurt some people, but at least we’ll be able to buy a lot of things at lower prices.

The tone is: A. indignant B. pleading C. accepting
Chaffey College, one of the first colleges to be established in California, is a two-year public community college situated in an area of natural and tranquil beauty in Southern California. Founded in 1883 as a private college, Chaffey has been a publicly funded college since1916 and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

What is the purpose?
What is the tone?
Compare the tone between the three following statements:

1. She’s tough, but she’s also really good. I’ve learned more from her than I’ve learned from any other teacher.

2. Yeah, I love her. Just like I love sleeping on a bed of nails or having bamboo slivers pushed under my fingernails.

3. I might as well stop going to class now. I’m never going to understand the material. It’s hopeless.
The Rhetorical Appeals
What is Rhetoric?
The art of persuasion / argument
In english / literature - it is the manipulation of language (whether spoken or written) for persuasion/argument
Aristotle defined 3 rhetorical appeals:
Appealing to the audience's logic.
Persuasion by the use of reasoning.
Authors who use logos typically use facts and statistics to prove the logic of their argument.
Examples: Who sounds more reliable?
Greek for "word"
Greek for "suffering" or "experience"
Persuasion by making the audience feel the writer's emotional position.
Or Appeal to the audience's sympathies and imagination.
An appeal to pathos causes an audience not just to respond emotionally but to identify with the writer's point of view--to feel what the writer feels.
Authors who use pathos know their audience, know how they want them to feel, and comes up with examples or situations to elicit or inspire those emotions.
Greek for "character"
Persuasion by showing or convincing the audience that the author has credibility.
Tries to persuade the audience that the author is trustworthy, an expert in the field
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