Re: Audience Awareness

Subject: Re: Audience Awareness
From: Romay Jean Sitze <rositze -at- NMSU -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 1994 12:30:46 -0700

On Tue, 22 Nov 1994, David Blyth @second wrote:

> Personaly, I've never found "audience awareness" to be useful. If I'm
> not clearly explaining the material to begin with, then being aware of
> my audience isn't going to help. I am not aware of this audience. I
> simply try to communicate.

> I do make certain assumptions, but they impact WHAT I'm explaining
> rather than HOW I explain it.

I, too, make certain assumptions--and did so in the post to which David
responded. One of these assumptions is that the students will also be
concerned with the WHAT. However, I see this as being a critical part of
being audience aware. The choice of WHAT--or how much of WHAT to say
depends greatly on the needs of the audience--the degree of technical
expertise, how the information will be used (to base a decision on, to
create a product, for general information, etc.) all play a part. I want
my students to be alert to such factors as they write--just as I must be
when I write. For example, the documents I produce as a technical writer
for a small engineering company differ greatly from the types of documents
I produce for school. To break this down even further, I would not write
in the same style for my classes in management practices as I would for a
class in online documentation. The audience to a large extent determines
both style and purpose.


RoMay Sitze rositze -at- nmsu -dot- edu

Practice makes perfect--or perfectly awful.
It depends on what you practice.


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