1. AUDIENCE ANALYSIS
THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL COMMUNICATION
2. AUDIENCE ANALYSIS
• Whenever you write—
whether it’s an
essay, letter, email, or
speech—you will make
writing decisions based
on your audience.
• You’ll analyze your
values, interests, and
3. WHY ANALYZE THE AUDIENCE?
• To decide on your
• To appeal to your
• To address audience
• To persuade
• Needs and interests
• The place of
• The medium of
(print, online, projecti
• The purpose of the
5. WHAT IS AFFECTED BY THE AUDIENCE?
• Add information readers need to understand your
• Omit information your readers do not need
• Change the level of the information you currently
have (include technical terms or not?)
• Change the level of your
• Write stronger introductions or
• Change sentence style and
• Add examples to help readers
• More than one audience
• Sympathetic—they care about your topic and
• Uninformed—don’t know much about the topic
and may not be receptive without good reason
• Indifferent—may or may not know about your
topic. They just don’t care.
• Critical—Will criticize your ideas before they
decide whether to agree or disagree with you.
• Hostile—Already disagree with you and are not
• Wide variability in audience
• Many different people will read what
• Unknown audience
• You don’t know who your audience
Now, let’s look at some passages.
• Can you tell who the intended audience is for
• What are the audience’s values and needs?
• What writing choices were made based on the
9. EXAMPLE 1
Quantitative morphology of the CNS has recently undergone major developments. In
particular, several new approaches, known as design-based stereologic
methods, have become available and have been successfully applied to
neuromorphological research. However, much confusion and uncertainty remains
about the meaning, implications, and advantages of these design-based stereologic
methods. The objective of this review is to provide some clarification. It does not
comprise a full description of all stereologic methods available. Rather, it is written by
users for users, provides the reader with a guided tour through the relevant literature.
It has been the experience of the authors that most neuroscientists potentially
interested in design-based stereology need to analyze volumes of brain
regions, numbers of cells (neurons, glial cells) within these brain regions, mean
volumes (nuclear, perikaryal) of these cells, length densities of linear biological
structures such as vessels and nerve fibers within brain regions, and the
cytoarchitecture of brain regions (i.e. the spatial distribution of cells within a region of
interest). Therefore, a comprehensive introduction to design-based stereologic
methods for estimating these parameters is provided. It is demonstrated that results
obtained with design-based stereology are representative for the entire brain region
of interest, and are independent of the size, shape, spatial orientation, and spatial
distribution of the cells to be investigated. Also, it is shown that bias (i.e. systematic
error) in results obtained with design-based stereology can be limited to a
minimum, and that it is possible to assess the variability of these results. These
characteristics establish the advantages of design-based stereologic methods in
10. EXAMPLE 1
• This was a passage from a professional medical
journal, so it is research-based writing by a doctor
written for other doctors and researchers in the
• The formal the tone and medical jargon gives this
11. EXAMPLE 2
All of you Kelly Clarkson fans are in for a big treat. We
have the latest scoop on Kelly's new Stronger tour, where
she'll be playing, and who's her special guest!
We love her new album Stronger and we can't wait to
hear her belt out new songs and some of the old hits as
well! Kelly's killer confidence and dazzling voice is sure to
make for one fabulous concert. Joining Ms. Clarkson on
tour, the amazingly talented (and cute!) Matt Nathanson
will be her opening act. We think he is the perfect
musician to join Kelly on her fierce, new tour. So, if you're
like us and can't wait to see the concert, tickets will go on
sale November 18 at 10:00 a.m. Get your group of friends
together because this fun and fearless show is going to be
something won't want to miss!
12. EXAMPLE 2
• This was a passage from a teen magazine. It is
intended to entertain teenage girls. The subject
matter gives away a lot, but it also uses very
casual, simple language.
• Did you notice the use of punctuation too?
Exclamation marks were used to convey
excitement and emotion, another choice the writer
has made to cater directly to the audience.
13. EXAMPLE 3
Who administers Medicare plans?
• Medicare Parts A and B (sometimes known as "Original Medicare") is run by the
federal government. With Medicare Parts A and B, the government pays fees for
your health care directly to the doctors and hospitals you visit.
• Other types of Medicare plans, such as Medicare Part C (also known as Medicare
Advantage), Medicare Supplement Insurance and prescription drug plans (Part
D), are operated by private insurance companies that are contracted by the
government. The government pays a fixed fee to your plan for your care, and your
plan then pays your doctors and hospitals.
What are my Medicare coverage choices?
• You can choose the type of Medicare plan you want, based on what's available in
your area and your coverage needs. Here's an overview of what each coverage
Medicare Part A and Part B (sometimes known as "Original Medicare")
• Helps cover hospital stays, preventive care, doctor visits and other medical
• Run by the federal government.
• Can be paired with a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan to help pay your share
• Can be paired with a stand-alone prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D), to help
pay for medications.
14. EXAMPLE 3
• This was taken of the AARP website, so the audience is
• The tone is neutral, and sentences are written concisely.
• Notice this one has bullet points. This choice in formatting
is an attempt to help simplify the information for the
readers and present it in the clearest way possible.
• Because these readers are older, they are likely to be
concerned about their current and future health. They
want to understand the information on this website so
that they can make a good decision about which
coverage is right for them.
15. EXAMPLE 4
(This passage is about couch surfing):
A guide to making yourself at home in other people’s homes.
One of the greatest things about traveling is all the great people you meet.
Make a good impression and they may be reckless enough to give you
their addresses. Imagine the look of shock on their faces when you actually
At first you’re something of a novelty, like a roaming circus performer come
to entertain all of your host’s friends. Soon though, when they find that
you’ve been plundering their favourite biscuits or running up a phone
bill, you may find that hints about your departure progress to the point that
they change the locks and throw your bags into the street.
However in this cruel world of harsh economic realities the
hotel, guesthouse or backpackers’ hostel may well leave your budget in
tatters. Free hospitality may be the only way to sustain your travels. How
then does the canny traveller leave his host always wanting
more, more, more?
To learn the answers read on… Just remember that you’re karmically
bound to be a damn good host when you finally get your act together to
rent your own roof over your head.
16. EXAMPLE 4
• This was taken off a website about couch surfing. The author is trying to
convince others of the benefits of couching surfing (rather than staying in
a hotel or motel) when traveling.
• The audience of this passage would be people who are interesting in
traveling on a budget. It’s possible the audience may be
younger, maybe people in college or just out of college, since they tend
to have the least disposable income, but they might be interested in
exploring the world before settling down (getting a full-time job, getting
married, having kids, etc.).
• The language and tone is simple and conversational in an effort to reach
a wide audience.
• There are some unconventional spellings (they aren’t wrong; they’re just
not standard American spellings). You can tell this writer is well traveled
and may not be from the U.S. The author may be using these spellings to
appeal to audience members in other countries.
• What does this reveal to you about the
importance of audience analysis?
• What have you learned that you can
apply to your writing process?
• How does the audience change with
different kinds of writing
(letter, email, essay, novel, newspaper
• Readers are generally interested in
topics that relate to their needs and
• As a writer, you have to find a way to
make that connection with your
19. FINAL THOUGHTS
• Finally, think about the audience for your last two
• Who is the audience for the Persuasive Essay?
What are their characteristics?
• Who is the audience for your Letter to the Editor?
What are their characteristics?
• How do these audiences differ?
• What adjustments will you need to make to your
tone, language use, word choice, etc. due to this
shift in audience?