What Is Your Writing Situation?

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Always start with your readers - who are they, and what do they expect from you.

What Is Your Writing Situation? Whenever you start on any writing task, it’s good idea to take a few minutes to think about your writing situation.

Ask yourself three questions:

Who is your audience?

What is your purpose?

What is your persona?

For Practice :

1. Here is a sample of writing situation you might face, following by an audience analysis you might arrive at:

The Writing Situation : you’re in charge of drafting the copy for a web page to be sponsored by a volunteer group you belong to, Tutors For Teens. You’re seeking college student to help eight and ninth grade students improve their math skills.

Audience Analysis : College students with good math skills who would like to be involved in a community project and who feel comfortable with thirteen – and fourteen – year – olds. They would need to be reliable and conscientious, willing to commit two hours a week for a full semester.

Writer a similar audience analysis in the following writing situations :

A Brochure for middle school students inviting them to attend a one – day early career awareness fair on your college campus. The goal of the fair is to convince these ten to twelve – year – old youngsters to take science and math courses so they can enroll in college preparatory classes when they get to high school.

A Letter to your state senator urging her to support a bill that subsidizes childcare for single mothers who are returning to school to get a high school diploma.

A Short Personal Essay to accompany your application for a tuition grant for the coming semester from the college alumni club in your city.

2. Here is a sample showing how you might analyze your purpose in another writing situation:

The Writing Situation : A movie review for the campus newspaper, due the day after the movie opens at local theaters.

The Purpose Analysis : To let readers know what kind of movie it is - violent action, sophisticated comedy, family entertainment, war spectacle – and whether it’s a good representative of its genre. Give a brief view of the plot, name the actors, and evaluate the film for acting, dialogue, originality, and general interest.

Write a similar analysis of the writer’s purpose in the following writing situations :

A Company Brochure announcing a health and exercise program for company employees, summarizing the benefits for employees for signing up to participate in the program.

A Web Site for the local children’s museum that describes its exhibits and educational programs and invites families to buy memberships.

An Email Message to be sent to all residents in particular dorm on campus asking them to limit the number of electrical machines and applications they bring back to school for the fall term so that the building will meet local fire code standards.

3. Here is an example showing how you might analyze the persona you want to create in a writing situation:

Writing Situation : A driver is writing to appeal a six month suspension of her driver’s license that was imposed because she has received five speeding tickets.

Persona Analysis : The writer wants to project the persona of a sober, industrious young woman who has learned her lesson and who must be able to continue driving because of her job.

Analyze the persona a writer might want to create in these writing situations

A Petition to the college administration asking it to increase the salaries of campus custodial workers to 150 percent of the minimum wage.

A News Story for the campus newspaper announcing the opening of Writing Center that will be open six days a week to all students who want help with their writing projects.

An Opinion Piece for your hometown newspaper asserting that binge drinking is not problem at your college.

For Writing :

Draft an argument on one side of the dispute over whether public schools should be encouraged to accept free television sets for showing educational programs if those programs also include up to ten minute’s advertising each hour. Choose one of the following audiences, and before you start you argument write a one-paragraph analysis of your readers:

• The parent- teacher association of the middle school that you attended

• The Rotary Club (A club made up of business and professional people in the community) of your city

• The students of a middle school, the twelve to fourteen – year - olds who would be the viewers of the proposed television programs

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