ParaPro Writing Study Guide: Purposes & Audiences

This section requires you to know who your article is geared towards. As a teacher, you will want to train your students on what kinds of essays to use in certain situations and how to argue something in a persuasive essay.

Here are some tips for mastering this section:

  • The main purposes are inform, entertain, describe, and persuade:
    • Use inform when you want to give information on something without taking a side. These are also known as expository essays.
    • Use entertain when you want to tell a story and create a mood. For example, “My first ever date and how it went wrong.” These are also known as narrative essays.
    • Use persuade when you are arguing a specific point and want to convince the reader why they should take your side in the argument.
    • Use descriptive when you are trying to paint a picture of a specific person, place, or thing. For example, describing what your house looks like in detail would be a descriptive essay.

Look at the passage below:

Example 1

One of the most important ways to represent your country is by voting. It gives you a voice in the democratic process and allows you to influence the direction of your city, state, and country. Too many people say one person’s vote doesn’t make a difference, but if everyone felt this way, no one would vote. Every vote matters. Plus, the feeling that you made your feelings known on a ballot gives you a sense of pride and freedom. So come this November, be sure to head to your local precinct and vote in the upcoming election.

What kind of audience would the writer be trying to reach out to?

  1. Someone who wants to get involved in politics and wants to get more information on the ballot topics
  2. Someone who may be on the fence about whether to vote or not in the upcoming election.
  3. Someone who is thinking about volunteering their time at a local precinct or a campaign
  4. Someone who wants to know what the inside of a voting precinct looks like

The answer here is B. Even all these options would reach out to a political audience, option B is more specific in reaching out to those who are thinking about whether they should vote or not in the upcoming election. It’s a persuasive piece, and option B is a persuasive answer. Option would make sense more in an informative piece about the election while option D would be more descriptive.

Purposes & Audiences Review Test

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