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Charles Bazerman is Professor and Chair of the Department of Education at the University of California, Santa

Barbara.   He wrote a textbook, The Informed Writer.  

This discussion thread draws from chapter 1 of the book. Please click here to access chapter 1.

On page 3, Bazerman mentions the relationships between writing and speaking and between writing and reading.  "Reading and writing go hand in hand," he notes.  

On page 4, Bazerman discusses the distinctions between writing and speaking.  He also describes how tone and audience are influenced differently in both writing and speaking.

On page 5, he mentions the art of “listening,” both for a speaker and for a writer.

On page 5, he describes a bicycle accident.  If you have a bicycle accident as he describes on this page, you may later write three email messages—one to your mother, one to your friend, and one to the insurance company. He describes these three audiences and how the letters to each will be different because the audiences are distinct and, therefore, the purposes are different.

Consider any piece of writing you have completed in the past six months—for school, for work, for a situation in your community, or some other context.  Who was the audience, and how did the audience affect how you approached this piece of writing?

Please write one paragraph of 5-6 sentences or so in your response.  Please draw upon analysis from chapter 1 from Bazerman. You may also draw upon chapter 6 of Writing for Success.  Refer specifically to the advice in one or both of these sources as you construct your paragraph.

1 1 WRITING riting involves other people. You respond to and build on other people’s statements; you then write for other people to read. As a reader and a writer, you converse with others over the written page. To converse effectively you need to know what is on the other people’s minds, how you want to affect other people, and how you plan to achieve that effect. Thus writing well requires that you understand the writing situation, grasp the particular writing problem, and carefully plan your writing strategy. W
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2 Part 1 Writing About Reading The Writing Situation A Writer Is Never Alone Although a writer may work in private, a writer is never alone. To write is to communicate with other people: we write letters to share our lives with friends. We write business reports to influence managers' decisions. We write essays to convert readers to our vision of the truth. Without other people, we would have little reason to write. Just as we wish to touch people through our writing, we have been influenced by the writing of others. Will Rogers's famous quip, All I know is just what I read in the papers, has truth. We learn many things indirectly through the written word, from current and historical events to the collisions of subatomic particles and of multinational corporations. Even when we learn from direct experience, our perceptions and interpretations are influenced by the words of others. And though we may write private notes and diary entries to ourselves to sort out plans, thoughts, or feelings, we are nevertheless reacting to experiences and concepts and situations that come from our relationships with others. Through language we participate in an exchange of ideas and information that draws people's minds together. The Written Conversation Your economics professor assigns a five-page paper requiring you to comment on the problems created by the federal deficit. If you know the facts and have a strong opinion, you are able to go to your computer and pound out the assignment. This work represents your opinions, but is it solely a product of your own mind? To form opinions, you had to gather information on the deficit-probably from newspapers, magazines, and television. Editorials and articles in political magazines may have influenced your current view of the subject. Ideas you heard or read over the years about economics, taxes, and government spending have shaped your economic attitudes. Even your understanding of how the federal government works, how it is financed, and the nature of its role in the economy is based on what you learned from teachers and textbooks in history, government, and economics courses. As you wrote, you kept in mind the economics professor's lectures and assigned readings on economic concepts and theory. They helped you become more informed and thoughtful, enabling you to present a mature, informed opinion. All semester the professor has been expressing opinions; now it is your turn. The assignment demands that you apply what you have learned to the problem of the federal deficit. You yourself may have specific economic issues to discuss in the paper to get the professor's reaction. At the very least you want your paper to earn the professor's approval for how competently you handle the course material. Above all, as you write you need to keep the professor's academic standards in mind in order to meet them. When you write, your statements are your own. You choose the words and organize the thoughts to fulfill your own motives and to realize your own intentions. But you choose words that you share with your readers, and you refer to concepts and objects that those readers are likely to recognize. Through being aware of what your readers already know, you can share your original ideas with them more easily. Moreover, you have developed your thoughts, motives, and intentions in response to what you have read and heard and experienced. Your language and conclusions and intentions, even as they are your own, arise out of the many voices around you and then become part of that rich multiplicity of voices.
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Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 216 Chapter 6 Writing Paragraphs: Separating Ideas and Shaping Content 6.1 Purpose, Audience, Tone, and Content LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the four common academic purposes. 2. Identify audience, tone, and content. 3. Apply purpose, audience, tone, and content to a specific assignment. Imagine reading one long block of text, with each idea blurring into the next. Even if you are reading a thrilling novel or an interesting news article, you will likely lose interest in what the author has to say very quickly. During the writing process, it is helpful to position yourself as a reader. Ask yourself whether you can focus easily on each point you make. One technique that effective writers use is to begin a fresh paragraph for each new idea they introduce. Paragraphs separate ideas into logical, manageable chunks. One paragraph focuses on only one main idea and presents coherent sentences to support that one point. Because all the sentences in one paragraph support the same point, a paragraph may stand on its own. To create longer assignments and to discuss more than one point, writers group together paragraphs. Three elements shape the content of each paragraph: 1. Purpose. The reason the writer composes the paragraph. 2. Tone. The attitude the writer conveys about the paragraph’s subject. 3. Audience. The individual or group whom the writer intends to address. Figure 6.1 Purpose, Audience, Tone, and Content Triangle Chapter 6 of :ULWLQJ IRU 6XFFHVV was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee. © 2013, The Saylor Foundation.
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Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 217 The assignment’s purpose, audience, and tone dictate what the paragraph covers and how it will support one main point. This section covers how purpose, audience, and tone affect reading and writing paragraphs. Identifying Common Academic Purposes The purpose for a piece of writing identifies the reason you write a particular document. Basically, the purpose of a piece of writing answers the question “Why?” For example, why write a play? To entertain a packed theater. Why write instructions to the babysitter? To inform him or her of your schedule and rules. Why write a letter to your congressman? To persuade him to address your community’s needs. In academic settings, the reasons for writing fulfill four main purposes: to summarize, to analyze, to synthesize, and to evaluate. You will encounter these four purposes not only as you read for your classes but also as you read for work or pleasure. Because reading and writing work together, your writing skills will improve as you read. To learn more about reading in the writing process, see Chapter 8 "The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?" . Eventually, your instructors will ask you to complete assignments specifically designed to meet one of the four purposes. As you will see, the purpose for writing will guide you through each part of the paper, helping you make decisions about content and style. For now, identifying these purposes by reading paragraphs will prepare you to write individual paragraphs and to build longer assignments. Summary Paragraphs A summary shrinks a large amount of information into only the essentials. You probably summarize events, books, and movies daily. Think about the last blockbuster movie you saw or the last novel you
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