Explore the slideshow below to learn how to identify the author's purpose and analyze how the author's visual or textual display serves the author's overall purpose. You will learn how to illustrate text with appropriate visuals. You will also learn how to explain visuals for a text summary. Finally, you will analyze the author's decision to include visuals rather than text and the author's decision to include text rather than visuals in order to convey the purpose throughout.
Author's Purpose and Differentiating
Begin by reading the text and thinking about the author's purpose. Ask yourself:
- What does the author want me to learn?
- What is the central idea in the text?
- What is the most important information to be gained from reading?
Authors sometimes choose text or words to explain technical processes and to reveal their overall purpose. Therefore, it is important for readers to be able to illustrate quantitative or technical information.
Readers can illustrate quantitative information by:
- Identifying the author's purpose
- Identifying the key numerical, scientific or technical terms within the text that describes the quantitative or technical information
- Identifying and analyzing words and phrases that describe the relationships expressed
- Choosing, constructing or completing a visual representation that most appropriately represents the relationship or processes described in the text and the author's purpose
On the other hand, authors sometimes choose to use visuals to illustrate technical processes and to reveal their overall purpose. Therefore, it is important for readers to understand information presented visually or mathematically in order to explain the quantitative or technical information in words by:
- Identifying the author's purpose
- Identifying the mathematical relationships represented by operational symbols (e.g., +,-,X), mathematic symbols (e.g., ( ), =,<,>), and/or technology/flowchart symbols
Readers can also increase their understanding of information presented visually or mathematically by:
- Analyzing the author's use of numbers, and symbols to represent key ideas, concepts, or processes
- Summarizing the information expressed visually by the author
As you continue reading, think about how the author's purpose is revealed. Ask yourself about the visual or text display the author is choosing:
- Why did the author use text to explain technical information?
- Why did the author use a visual to illustrate technical information?
- What is the overall purpose of this section?
- How are the text and visuals working together to reveal the author's overall purpose?
Draw conclusions about how the relationship among the visuals and the text presented add to the growth of the author's purpose within the whole text. Ask yourself:
- How do the visuals and the text of a particular section build to the overall purpose of the article?
- How is the author choosing to display the information within the major sections to serve the overall purpose?
Evaluate the effectiveness of the presentation of technical information. When you evaluate a text, you are critiquing HOW and WHY the author made particular choices. Follow these steps:
- Make a claim that expresses your evaluation of the author's choice or choices.
- Justify your claim with examples from the text.
In your examples, you will need to prove your understanding of the author's explanation of technical information within both text and visuals or in combination with each other. You will also need to prove how the author's purpose is revealed within the major sections of the text to aid in the understanding of the overall text.