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Purpose

Mary Anne Cox's situation is a more complex demonstration of rhetorical problem solving. Since she had already solved the technical problem, she needed to move to solving the rhetorical problem—communicating the solution to those people who were vitally interested. She would have to ask and answer several questions about what she had to write. The first series of questions Mary Anne had to consider centered on her purposes—both primary and secondary—for writing.

Primary Purposes

In the case of primary purposes, Mary Anne could be writing simply to be able to answer questions of fact: what has happened in her work, what is happening now, or what is likely to happen? Record keeping is, in fact, an important part of a professional's work: the documentation of work accomplished, or work in progress, or work yet to be done, which is written in the form of notes or logs, is usually necessary to remind oneself and others of the directions a project may take, and how those involved may be affected by factors already known and predicted.


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