Adapting to Your Audience
- Do your readers have strong opinions about the topic you’re writing about?
- Have they already reached a conclusion that you need to change?
- Do they have any presuppositions that you need to take into account as you write your paper?
- Does gender make a difference on the topic you’re writing about? For instance, women tend to react much more strongly than men to issues of personal safety, and if you were writing about adding lights to public parking lots, the gender makeup of your audience might well affect the shape of your paper.
- Is age important to your topic? Again, senior citizens living on fixed retirement incomes often react differently than younger people on a wide range of topics.
- Can you think of any other biases that might affect your audience and thus your presentation of ideas in your paper? For instance, a paper directed to the city council probably should take account of members’ bias toward or against development.