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Module 1: Getting started with research: Define Writing Purpose

Define Writing Purpose

Writing allows us to communicate in a variety of different ways. When starting a writing assignment, it’s helpful to identify the purpose of a piece of writing. Is the goal of your writing to:

☐ inform or educate someone on topic?

☐ persuade or debate with someone on a topic?

☐ express yourself and your opinions

☐ create a literary work in the form of creative writing?  

You will most often be asked to complete informative and persuasive writings.

To further clarify the purpose of your writing, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why are you writing this paper?
  2. What should your writing demonstrate?
  3. What do you want your thesis to do?
  4. Is the paper formal or informal?
  5. What form will your writing take - essay, proposal, article?
  6. What information should be emphasized to affect your audience? Do you want to shock, educate, or persuade your readers?

Use the chart to further clarify your purpose:

Courtesy SUNY Writing Guide