English 1301 ONL / Skrabanek


A purpose is a reason or goal for writing.
A pattern is a method of organizing the writing to achieve the purpose.


--Focus is on the writer.
--Purpose: to express personal feelings
--Main Characteristics: use of first-person pronouns; personal emotions; personal experiences or autobiography; personal values; self-definition or self-discovery
--Minor Characteristics: slang; humor; vulgarity; figurative language; substandard grammar
--First-person pronouns (subjective)
--Style: informal/colloquial/vulgar

--Focus is on the information or facts.
--Purpose: to inform (referential-informative); to interpret facts (referential-interpretive)
--Main Characteristics: thesis; factual evidence; comprehensive, objective, accurate, unbiased information; logical conclusions drawn from facts given (referential-interpretive)
--Minor Characteristics: unambiguous language; avoids slang
--Third-person pronouns (objective)
--Style: formal/informal
--Forms: informative, interpretive, exploratory, parajournalistic

--Focus is on the reader.
--Purpose: to convince the reader
--Main Characteristics: persuasive claim; support; emotional, personal, logical, stylistic appeals
--Minor Characteristics: general warrant; language appropriate to the audience
--First-person, second-person, or third-person pronouns
--Style: informal/colloquial

--Focus is on the conscious, deliberate use and arrangement of words.
--Purpose: to entertain; to give aesthetic pleasure
--Main Characteristics: usually fiction but with a sense of reality; tension or conflict; artistic unity (a main idea); figurative language
--Minor Characteristics: genres of poetry, drama, short fiction, long fiction
--First-person or third-person pronouns (usually)
--Style: informal/colloquial/vulgar
--Approaches of literary writing: expressive, imitative, objective, pragmatic


--Function: to tell about a series of events in time
--Organizing principle: relationship between events in time
--Focus: how events are connected causally to preceding and following events
--Forms: narration of an event; narration of a process; cause and effect

--Function: to show how the parts and the whole are related or to appeal to the senses
--Organizing principle: relationship between the whole and its parts
--Focus: how things are unique or different from others in their class
--Forms: physical description; division; analysis

--Function: to organize into groups or classes
--Organizing principle: relationship between an item and others of its kind
--Focus: how things are similar to others of their kind
--Forms: formal classification; comparison and contrast; definition

--Function: to make a value judgment
--Organizing principle: relationships between values and judgments
--Focus: the quality of something measured by a set of criteria
--Characteristics: subject; criteria; specific judgment

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English/Austin Community College
Last update: October 2012