Purpose Exercise

Read the following scenarios and example documents. Write down the purpose of each, what you think each author is trying to achieve, and how effectively they are accomplishing their goal.

Scenario 1:

A sales manager in a team meeting:

“I won’t lie, we didn’t hit our quota last month. We didn’t even come close. But I’ll take the loss on that one, and do you want to know why? Because if I can’t lead this group of hard-working, professional, customer-focused employees to victory, then that’s on me. This month, though, I’m going for a win, I’m going to do whatever it takes and give it everything I’ve got just like you folks do every day! So, let’s get out there and sell some cars people!”

Scenario 2:

A physician’s assistant at a nursing home on the phone with a patient’s daughter:

“No, no ma’am it wasn’t serious, Herman just had a little tumble in the bathroom. Probably just the new meds is all. I promise, he was already laughing about it at dinner and boy did he eat well tonight.”

Scenario 3:

A writing instructor to a class of first-year college students:

“Think of rhetoric as that thing you do before you go to a party. When you get dressed, your making choices based on your purpose for going. Maybe you want to be comfortable to relax with friends or maybe you want to look nice to impress someone new. When you choose what to bring to the party, you’re making decisions about your audience and what you expect the environment to be like. Is this the kind of crowd you bring sodas to? How about salsa? Board games?”


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