Writer’s/Essay Goal

Kristin Fracchia
Lesson by Kristin Fracchia
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This lesson is about the questions on the tests that asks you to determine whether or not an essay achieves the writer's goal or the essay's goal. Those are used pretty much interchangeably. So let me just go ahead and show you an example of a question that does this. So, it usually starts with a, suppose the writer's goal had been to do something. So suppose the writer's goal had been to write an essay that explained why soda beverages gained popularity over the last 150 years.

And then we always have this question. Would the essay accomplish that goal? So these questions are about the essay as a whole. So they're best left to answer at the end. They usually, actually, come as the last question in the passage when they are there.

So that you've read the entire thing and you have a good overview of what the entire essay was about. So we are going to see four answer choices, two that begin with yes, two that begin with no. And some rationals for each one, because it did this, because it did this, because it did this.

Now, we're not going to actually go and answer this question because you'd need to read the entire passage in order to do that. But we are gonna talk about some tips for answering these questions when you see them, and then you should be good to go when you see them on the test. Tip number one. Look back over the entire passage and review the main idea of each paragraph.

This is really important. What did each paragraph do? Then, underline the specific intended goal in the question. Make sure that the essay achieves that specific goal, and more importantly that the rationale in the answer choice makes sense with that specific goal. Okay, so, this is really important.

The words that they choose to use in the questions on the ACT are super important. So that example I gave you was suppose the writer's goal had been to write an essay to explain why soda beverages gained popularity over the last a 150 years. So the fact that says soda beverages is super important. The fact that says last 150 years is super important. There are very specific about that.

So if this was an essay that just talked about one soda beverage like Coca-Cola, or if it just covered the last 50 years then the answer would be no, it did not accomplish that goal. So be very careful that you are looking at the specific goal. What is the specific language that they're using? And then, make sure that the essay is not too broad or too narrow to accomplish this goal.

So this is the most common reason why an essay would, or, or would not accomplish a goal. So if it said something like the writer intended to write a passage about Native American writers, and it just focused on one Native American writer? The answer would be, it doesn't accomplish that goal. If it said, does, did the essay fully explain the work of one Native American writer and it talked about a bunch of Native American writers, then it's also wrong.

It didn't accomplish that goal. So make sure that you know the scope of the essay, how broad is it? How narrow is it? And, if you're in doubt, eliminate answer choices that have rationales that don't make sense with the question and guess from the remaining answer choices. So let's go ahead and go back to the question, talk about that one.

So the question is, suppose the writers goal had been to write an essay that explained why soda beverages gained popularity over the last a 150 years. Would this essay accomplish that goal? Now, remember I said to focus soda beverages in general, in the last a 150 years. Now keep in mind that you haven't even read the passage, but we're gonna see if we can make any eliminations based just on the rationale.

A, yes because the essay described the early challenges that bottlers faced when producing Coca-Cola, okay, but does that even answer the question. Not really. If you describe the early challenges it doesn't necessarily guarantee that talked about a 150 years, but kinda doesn't even make sense as a rationale for yes. It, it doesn't, it' doesn't answer the question.

If the writer's goal had been to write an essay to explain why soda beverages gained popularity over a 150 years. If it did the early challenges, or if it talked about early challenges, doesn't necessarily mean it did that. So we can eliminate that based purely on the fact that the rationale doesn't make sense with a yes.

B, yes, because the essay describes how Coca-Cola's brand was modified in the early 1970s. I should've pointed something else out here. Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola. It's not talking about general soda beverages, so, in the early 1970s, its not focus on the 150 years.

We can eliminate that purely based on the rationale as well too. Let's look at C. No, because the essay only focuses on the development of one soda company, Coca-Cola. Remember what I was saying about essays being too broad or too narrow. That looks like a really tempting answer choice, because if this essay was just about Coca Cola, it would not accomplish that goal.

D, no because the essay does not mention marketing strategies Coca-Cola used over that time period. Well, that's kind of like a maybe, but it's not really necessarily necessary that they talk about marketing strategies to talk about how gain popularity, I mean it's a maybe, but I think if we're in doubt we can probably eliminate that one as well too.

Just put a little dash line to show probably. And then we're left with one that seems make a lot of sense. Let's see, so without even having read the passage, which I don't recommend doing, you should read the passage and you should review it all, but I just wanted to illustrate the fact that sometimes you can make some serious eliminations without necessarily having done that or really understanding the passage over all.

And in this case with this specific passage on a test, the answer is actually C. So, once again look back over the entire passage. Review the main idea of each paragraph. Underline the specific goal in the question, and make sure that the essay specifically achieves that goal.

This is the most important one, because I see that again and again as the answer choice, make sure the essay is not too broad or too narrow to accomplish that goal. And, what we just did there, if it in doubt, if in doubt, eliminate answer choices that have rationales that don't make sense with the questions, and then, and then take your best guest from the remaining ones.

And this should help you out a lot on these Writer's/Essay's Goal Questions.

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