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Writing Projects » Stages of Writing » Getting Started » Define Your Audience

You would probably ask your boss for a raise in a much different way from the way you would ask a friend for a loan.

Similarly, knowing who you are writing for can help you figure out what to say. In addition, the more clearly you can imagine your readers, the better you will be able to make your writing interesting and convincing to them.

Answer the following questions to help you imagine your readers and adapt your writing style to them. When you are finished, click the button at the bottom of the page, and you will have some notes to help you plan your writing project.

(Extra help - More explanation and examples of why imagining your audience can be important.)

One: What do your readers probably already know about your writing topic?

Two: What background information are your readers likely to need about your writing topic?

Three: What opinions are they likely to have already about your topic?

Now that you have thought about who your readers are, think about how you will adapt style and content to them.

Four: What facts and what kind of presentation — simple or sophisticated — are most likely to be interesting and convincing to your readers?

Everyone has a different way of gathering ideas. If you didn't find defining your audience helpful, or if you feel you still have work to do before writing a first draft, follow one of the links below to another pre-writing activity:

If you feel you have generated enough ideas and are ready to begin drafting, we have some tips for writing the first draft and a place to write it.

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