Author Intent- Digging Deeper

By | January 15, 2013

As the CCSS become the basis for a stronger educational base, we need to incorporate skills across the space between school and home. One way to encourage more rigor is to use common reading materials such as magazines and newspapers. Most families have access to these materials or can gain access easily through subscription, library resources or online.

Beyond the tenents of CCSS of reading for meaning, stands author intent. We are bombarded daily by ‘news’ and seldom question author intent. That’s a huge mistake, but author intent is often difficult to assess. We often have no way of knowing the basis of an author’s information: opinion or fact.

We need to at least  ‘question’ motives: is the author attempting to influence us using persuasion or is the author using facts?  Regardless, we need to be aware and consider what we read may not be based on truth, but instead if based on belief so the facts may be less facts and more opinion presented as facts.

The perfect example was the 2012 Presidential debates. When each debate ended, the fact checkers got busy. Even they could not agree about what was fact and what was opinion. Digging deeper requires work.  As students begin to look at what they read with more vigor what will they find? Will the printed word become more fact based? Time will tell.