Close Reading for Audience and Purpose
Key Terms:
Audience: defined as the group of listeners or readers for whom a text or message is intended
Purpose: describes the writer's intentions in writing a text, be they to entertain, enlighten, persuade, inform, evaluate, define, instruct, explain—or even deceive. Writer's and speakers want to instigate a response from their audience.
Context of Interpretation: refers to the factors that can influence a reader of a text, such as time, place, or personal experience.
Context of composition: refers to the factors that influence a writer when creating a text, such as time, place, and personal experience.

AUDIENCE

In order to study the relationship between a text and the context in which it was written, you need to know and understand the concept of audience.
Like eavesdropping on a conversation, when analyzing texts for the course you need to "fill in the gaps" and look for what is implied.
Texts are neither written nor read in a vacuum. Time and place can influence how and why a text is written and how it is interpreted.
In the course you will examine texts where you will feel a distance between yourself and the intended audience (think of picking up a magazine that targets people with completely different interests that your own)
When considering audience, think of the following questions: Who was the text written for? How are you part of or different from the target audience?

PURPOSE

Writers want to create a response in their intended audience. Therefore, every text has a purpose.
To determine purpose, ask yourself the following: What is the writer's intention? Why did the writer write the text?

CONTEXT OF INTERPRETATION

Readers are often influenced by the contexts in which they read. They are affected by their particular circumstances and environment, as well as their personal history.
This is known as the context of interpretation
The context of interpretation is why you may interpret a text differently from someone else or why you may interpret it differently that the author intended.

CONTEXT OF COMPOSITION

Writers, just like everyone, are affected by their environment and their personal experiences.
Time, race, gender, nationality and family history are a few factors that influence writers.
Factors such as these are called the context of composition.
As you read you need to be a detective looking for pieces of evidence that reflect the context of composition.
These pieces of evidence are called contextual clues.
The figure below shows the relationship between the context of composition, the target audience, and the context of interpretation
CONTEXT OF COMPOSITION

3363162124968
Time and Place020000
Time and Place
14685265212100344606-20471600
6718585622100
327342535560
Writer020000
Writer
140632216459009359904889500
296227551435
Text020000
Text
11899902159000
9810751676400





1261110106680
Aim of Communication: aka Purpose020000
Aim of Communication: aka Purpose



3455035133350
Time and Place of Target Audience020000
Time and Place of Target Audience344606-20471600
16757658699500

9359904889500
3105150118110
Target Audience020000
Target Audience
13265156413500

981075412750




1255395106045
Reader's Placement of Text020000
Reader's Placement of Text


3452751122918
Your Place and Time00
Your Place and Time
167145210203700344606-20471600
6700345870500

9359904889500
3084616125392
Text020000
Text
13265157048500

14065254381500
3357748160622
You020000
You




CONTEXT OF INTERPRETATION