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2.6: Audience

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    133612
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    No writing happens in a vacuum.\(^{29}\) Writing, as a communicative activity, is made for an audience of readers. In practice, how readers interpret writing has far less to do with passive decoding or reception of a message developed by someone else. Reading is itself a constructive act—quite literally, reading is meaning making. From the perspective of the reader, then, being a part of an audience has power. Much of that power lies in the ways readers infer an author’s voice into a text.

    Suppose, for example, that you receive a love letter. You would likely interpret this letter differently depending on what you know about its author. If the love letter comes from your partner, you might cobble together memories of the author’s familiar expressions, knowledge of the author’s manners of language use, and even particular moments in the history of your relationship that imbue your reading of the letter with what you think the author’s motives are. On the other hand, if your love letter is written by a secret admirer, you might find the whole notion of this letter awkward, flattering, intriguing, or intrusive. With this unknown author, you have less to go on to determine what the letter means, and with the knowledge you’re lacking, the author’s voice is distant, even inappropriate.

    FAQ When Thinking About Audience\(^{30}\)

    Questions:

    DESCRIPTION OF WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO AS A CAREER.

    AUDIENCE: 20-SOMETHINGS.

    While I do love teaching and will have my master’s degree this May in English Composition, I think I may want to try out Journalism as a part-time endeavor. Right now, I am: teaching three classes of English Composition 120 at NDSU, teaching two night classes at Aaker’s College, and working as the Opinion Editor of NDSU’s school newspaper, The Spectrum. Working and writing at The Spectrum has sparked a different type of writing in me. I would like to continue to teach, but I would also love to work for a magazine or newspaper as an Opinion Columnist, Fashion Columnist, or Features Columnist. Either one of these positions, I think, would really open up the side of my head that isn’t use in academic writing. Journalist writing can be more playful, and I have many more readers of this type of writing than I will, say, for my sixty-page thesis paper.

    DESCRIPTION OF WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO AS A CAREER.

    AUDIENCE: KIDS AROUND THE AGE OF 10.

    Right now, I am a teacher. I think I will always be a teacher, but I would like to write for a magazine or newspaper. Have you read a newspaper or magazine before? I would like to write words for something like that. I could write about where to go shopping for pink pants. I could write about movies like The Incredibles or Shrek. They are both almost the same because they deal with words. One kind is on paper, and the other kind is by helping people talk better and write bigger words.

    DESCRIPTION OF WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO AS A CAREER.

    AUDIENCE: MY GRANDPARENTS.

    As you know, teachers don’t make too much these days. If I were to teach in Minnesota, I think I could make a decent living, but I do like living in Fargo. If I stay in North Dakota or end up at a lower-paying school in the lakes area of Minnesota, I think I would like to find a part-time job as a journalist for a small newspaper or local magazine. I really enjoy being the Opinion Editor of The Spectrum this last year at NDSU, so I have some experience being a journalist. Since I wrote for the Opinion page, I would probably do that again, but I would be open to working on a Features story or being a Fashion Guru as well. Writing for a newspaper or magazine while I teach will expand my writing capabilities while also bringing in extra money too.

    Questions:

     


    \(^{29}\)Snippet from = Thomas, Patrick. “Writers Must Develop a Strong, Original Voice.” .” Bad Ideas About Writing. Edited by Cheryl E. Ball and Drew M. Loewe. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Libraries, Digital Publishing Institute, 2017. CC-BY.

    \(^{30}\)Questions taken from a longer piece by: Jory, Justin. “A Word About Audience.” Open English at Salt Lake Community College. 01 Aug 2016. https://openenglishatslcc.pressbooks...pter/audience/ Open English @ SLCC by SLCC English Department is licensed under CC-BY-NC, except where otherwise noted.

     


    This page titled 2.6: Audience is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Sybil Priebe (Independent Published) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.