Audience Analysisthe investigative and reasoning processes bywhich a writer identifies his or her targetaudience and the things that audience values,in respect to their audience context
Target AudiencePrimary audience:The actual “target”, the person or people you hopeto influence with your writingExamples:• An HR manager when you are applying for a job• Your grandma when you send her a birthday card
Secondary audience:Other stakeholders to whom the writing is notaddressed but who may be influenced by it or askedto read it by the primary audienceExamples:• The manager you would be working with if HR hired you• Your grandfather, who also wants to know how school is going
Tertiary audience:Readers who may come across and read yourwriting but who are not actually influenced byits contentExamples:• The receptionist at your potential new job• Your grandma’s friends from the senior center
Audience context – the relevant physical location and social situation of the targeted audience Ex: during wedding planning, on a hot dayAudience forum – the actual place or device where the target audience comes in contact with a text Ex: dentist’s office, mailbox, iPad
Why does adjusting writing to suit your audience matter?• You have an agenda that they can help you further• They won’t take notice if you don’t convince them it’s in their best interest as well• If you try to convince them using inappropriate language, they won’t get your message
What audience traits should you consider before writing?
Prior KnowledgeHow much does the audience know about yoursubject? - How many explanations should you include? - How complex should your language be? - Is industry jargon appropriate?
ToneGulf Coast fishermen might a lot aboutsaltwater fishing, but might not be receptive toan academic tone even though they are expertson the subject.
ToneChemistry professors may know little aboutsaltwater fishing, but would expect a morerestrained, academic approach in thepresentation of a paper.
Current OpinionHow does the audience feel about your subject? - Are they mostly on your side but in need of a little persuasion? - Are they fully apathetic? - Do they require a lot of convincing?
- Why is what you are saying valuable to your readers?- What can they take away from your paper?- Can you motivate them to think more about your issue?
Relationship to the Audience- Are you an equal, an authority, or asubordinate?- Are you giving order, suggestions, or friendly advice?- Does your audience assume you are credibleor are they skeptical of you?
Relationship to the Audience- As an authority, you’ll want to sound sure ofyourself.-As a peer or subordinate, you might be moretentative or suggestive.
Audience DemographicsAsk yourself if the following audience characteristicsshould influence how you present information: Age Sexual orientation Gender Income level Race/ethnicity Education level Region of residence Religion Health Political affiliation Culture Type of employment
MOSTLY IMPORTANTLY• Always find out as much about the reader’s personality as possible• Don’t rely on dated or offensive stereotypes to guide your analysis• Don’t be sycophantic or take on an overly pandering tone