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Know Your Audience

Know Your Audience

Author: Ryan Howard

Students will be able to determine the proper audience for their paper.

This packet will address the differences between a general audience and a specific audience in addition to an intended vs. a real audience.

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Importance of Knowing the Audience

Why is it important to know your audience?


People are different and have different usage of vocabulary.  For example, an article addressed to a zoological journal will be more detailed and use more sophisticated vocabulary than one which addresses more casual readers. 


Real Audience vs. Intended Audience




INTENDED AUDIENCE - These are the people for whom you are writing.  


REAL AUDIENCE - These are the people who read your work.           



For example, a student who is writing a paper addressing certain issues on religion may have a religion student or a theologian in mind as the intended audience, but the paper would only be read by the teacher and the classmates, making them the real audience. 


Excercise: Identifying the Real and Intended audience.

Read these situations and answer the questions that follow.


Mark is writing a paper addressing the importance of raising naturally fed, free-range hens. He explains issues such as unnatural hormones and antibiotics used in most meat animals as well as confinement. Mark has his fellow students proofread his paper before handing it in to the instructor.


For whom is Mark writing his paper? Who is really reading it?


Karen is writing an article about affordable health care for the magazine company that employs her. Her article addresses current issues such as Obama's plan for universal health care.


Who is the audience for this article?




Specific vs General Audience

NOTE: The URL's in the slideshow do not seem to work. Please refer to the links at the bottom.

Source: Smith, Douglas. Yellowstone After Wolves April 2003: p.330 - 340. 6 June 2011