The purpose for a piece of writing identifies the reason for writing it, by basically answering the question-Why? For example, why write a play?

Topic 1: Academic Writing

This topic addresses the following objectives:

Use academic texts as models for writing.

Estimated time to complete topic: 30 minutes

Identify and Explore: Common Academic Purposes

The purpose for a piece of writing identifies the reason for writing it, by basically answering 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 the schedule and rules. Why write a letter to a congressman? To persuade him to address the community’s needs.

In academic settings, the reasons for writing typically fulfill four main purposes:

to summarize
to analyze
to synthesize
to evaluate

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