AUDIENCE: The individual or group that will be reading a piece of writing or for whom the writing is being written.

One writes for one’s audience, which is quite possibly a large part of why many people prefer writing for themselves.  As the audience for my own writing, I generally understand most of what I have written.  In fact, I may even be able to explain why I have written something, what some of the many things what I have written may mean, and even the possible implications of what is on the page.  However, once you begin writing for others, you lose the ability to control how what you write will be interpreted.  To some extent, you even lose control of how it is received.  However, part of knowing “how to write” is having the ability to anticipate and narrow the range of your audiences’ possible reactions to your writing. It is interesting to me that writing as a process is so often associated with a writer’s beliefs and actions, because in my opinion a large part of the writing process, and virtually everything having to do with revision, is about the audience. 

Adapted from What Is Writing?: An Introduction to Writing as an Act and Medium of Communication (2015)

See Also: Professor Rodgers' Open Access English Handbook

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