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Humanities Libertexts

3.5: Choosing Appropriate, Interesting Content

  • Page ID
    6238
  • [ "article:topic", "authorname:akinonen" ]

    Content refers to all the written substance in a document. After selecting an audience and a purpose, you must choose what information will make it to the page. Content may consist of examples, statistics, facts, anecdotes, testimonies, and observations, but no matter the type, the information must be appropriate and interesting for the audience and purpose. An essay written for third graders that summarizes the legislative process, for example, would have to contain succinct and simple content.

    Content is also shaped by tone. When the tone matches the content, the audience will be more engaged, and you will build a stronger relationship with your readers. Consider that audience of third graders. You would choose simple content that the audience will easily understand, and you would express that content through an enthusiastic tone. The same considerations apply to all audiences and purposes.

    key takeaways

    • Paragraphs separate ideas into logical, manageable chunks of information.
    • The content of each paragraph and document is shaped by purpose, audience, and tone.
    • The four common academic purposes are to summarize, to analyze, to synthesize, and to evaluate.
    • Identifying the audience’s demographics, education, prior knowledge, and expectations will affect how and what you write.
    • Devices such as sentence structure, word choice, punctuation, and formal or informal language communicate tone and create a relationship between the writer and his or her audience.
    • Content may consist of examples, statistics, facts, anecdotes, testimonies, and observations. All content must be appropriate and interesting for the audience, purpose and tone.
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