Writing: Assessing Audience
Writing: Assessing Audience Revision
It is important to consider who you are writing a text for.
This is because you will need to decide if the text is appropriate for your audience.
Make sure you are happy with the following topics before continuing:
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Why is it important?
Different audiences will need you to use different styles of writing.
For example, one audience might need more detail in the text, whereas for another this would be confusing and unnecessary. It will depend upon what you need to communicate to that specific audience.
- A report or study will contain more detail (statistics, facts, graphs) than a text message to friends.
Another area where audience will influence your writing decisions is the level of formality in your text. One audience may respond better to a more informal text, whilst another may respond better to a more formal text.
You could also consider the visual features of a text. For example, the layout, (using bullet points or boxed text etc) or the use of specific colours may depend on who it is aimed at.
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A casual audience will usually involve an informal tone. For example, your friends or family.
It can be helpful to visualise formality as a scale:
Look at this thermometer.
Where would you place writing a birthday card to your friend?
There is no need for formal language as the audience is well-known to you in a relaxed setting!
Formal text is usually aimed at a more professional audience. For example, the CEO of a company.
Again, look at the thermometer.
Where would you place writing a job application?
As the audience is professional, the style of writing should be very formal. There may also be more detail.
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Personal writing is generally written from the author’s point of view – it contains a lot of their own opinions.
“I am angry that people can have parties against the rules”
This sentence expresses the author’s own personal opinion and feelings on the subject.
Impersonal writing is not written from the point of view of the author – the author’s own feelings are not evident from the text.
“The fact that people can have parties against the rules angered some people”
This sentence does not explicitly say that the author is ‘angered’ – it can be implied that ‘some people’ contains the author also, but this is not directly stated in the sentence.
Example: Intended Audience
Think about who the intended audience is for this text, using the information we learned above…
The audience for this greetings card is friends and family.
…we can see that the tone is informal and the language use indicates a personal relationship between the writer and the audience.
For example, ‘text if you’ve forgotten‘ and ‘I know you all have one!‘.
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