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Print & Nonprint Texts: Examples & Uses Video

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  • 0:03 The Purpose of Writing
  • 0:56 Uses of Print
  • 1:42 Printed Text in Writing
  • 3:09 Print & Non-Print Instruction
  • 3:52 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde
Authors write for different audiences and purposes. This lesson will show you how to help students demonstrate knowledge of the uses and provide examples of print and non-print texts.

The Purpose of Writing

In order for students to become fluent and skilled writers, they should understand that authors write for a wide variety of reasons and audiences. In other words, authors have different purposes for writing. Students of all ages are called on to recognize and write in a variety of styles, like reports or essays, and for different purposes, such as to communicate an idea or persuade someone to a point of view. They use strategies and tools that authors use to create writing, such as brainstorming in a journal or keeping an online blog.

Kelly is a novice writing teacher. Her school's curriculum objectives, or specific learning goals, and standards that students need to learn, include writers' different uses of print texts. She's not quite sure what this standard means, so she checks in with her mentor teacher, Lisa. Let's take a look at their conversation.

Uses of Print

What does it mean for a student to understand the uses of print? Standards that use this term are referring to the ways writers communicate thoughts and ideas. Think of what you see when you open a magazine. There are articles on specific topics, like decorating a child's room, accompanied by pictures. The magazine is using print in several ways, like stories, photographs, and captions, to engage the reader.

Kelly's first task is to teach students that the main purpose of writing is communication through thoughts, ideas, facts, or stories. Once students understand this concept, they can better understand writing as a craft. Lisa tells Kelly that students should also differentiate between print and non-print methods of communicating in writing.

Printed Text in Writing

Authors use their words to communicate thoughts, feelings, or ideas by writing them down and sharing them with their audience. This is referred to as print text, or writing expressed in the written word. Lisa lists several types of print texts, including:

  • Poems
  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Letters
  • Articles
  • Emails

In fact, any time we see words on the page that are meant to communicate, we are being exposed to print texts. Why do students need to know this? First of all, students need a purpose for the work they create in school. In writing, Lisa taught Kelly to start by making sure students understood the purpose of writing - communication. Beyond this concept, students need to understand that writing is more than what they often think of when asked to write - creating fiction. In fact, students will use a many forms of printed text in their academic careers and beyond. Becoming familiar with this as a form of writing helps broaden their understanding of what writing is.

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