Adapting to Your Audience

Appealing to an Audience

Donna Lecourt, English Department
At the first level, the appeal begins even in choice of topic, according to what the audience might already know as well as what the "concerns/issues" of that audience are in that context. (e.g. don't write about why Hamlet wanted to kill himself, or write about how Hamlet made you "feel" about your mother to an English professor). Then, at the next level, once it's influenced how you've chosen a topic and formulated a thesis, it influences what kind of proof you can use to prove or persuade. In other words, part of an appeal to the audience is to use the type of information they find the most valuable. Other appeals concern thinking about what they already find true, and trying to logically begin from there (e.g.. We all accept X, so thus Y must be true.) Of course, you also appeal in terms of style (fitting the norms of the community as well as simply trying to amuse, not be pedantic, etc.). Finally, appeals involve how the writer presents herself, that is, what kind of persona does she create on paper.

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