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Do Audience Analysis before you start writing. The most important questions in any writing situation are :

What readers am I writing for?

What do they expect from me?

Your answer to that question will affect every choice you make – choice about language, about style, about tone, about organization, about supporting examples. Sometimes your choice will be intuitive – you know almost without thinking that when you’re writing for one of your college instructors, you’ll use straight forward, unemotional language and a serious tone. If you were writing an editorial for your college paper, you’d make difference choice. Then you’d choose more colorful language and perhaps try for an ironic tone.

In less clear – cut writing situations, however answering a set of basic questions can help you anticipate your reader’s needs and expectation. Here are few questions we think can be useful: Questions about audience :

Question about Audience :

• Who are your readers?

• Why will they be reading what you write?

• What kind of evidence will interest them?

• How much do they already know about the topic?

• What additional information will they need or welcome?

• What questions will they want answered?

If you write out the answers to these questions, you’ll begin to get a feeling for the readers you want to reach.

Let’s look at an analysis of the audience for the model project on the Artist Artemisia Gentileschi:

Audience Analysis :

Who are the readers? : Instructor and fellow students.

Why will they be reading this piece? : To learn about a major woman artist from an earlier century.

What kind of evidence will interest them? : Historical information about the artist’s life and her contributions.

How much do they know about the topic? : Students know little about this particular artist or about obstacles women faced in her time.

What additional information will they need or welcome? : What was special about Getileschi’s career? What specialized information about her art, techniques, subject, etc., will interest readers?

What questions will they want answered? : What specific problems did Gentilseschi have? How did she overcome them to become famous?

Other Pages in This Section:

What is your purpose?

What is your persona?

Successful Writing Index

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