Writing for an Audience

Linda Flower, a college professor, did plenty of research on writing and in this particular selection focuses on the best ways to write for an audience. 

Writing for an audience is extremely important. In order to get your ideas across you must grab the audiences attention. A great way to do this is to find out who your audience is and put yourself in their shoes to give yourself a new perspective. Sometimes we do not know who the audience is. No matter what it is always important to have a target audiance in mind. According to Flower, “a good piece of writing closes the gap between you and the reader”. She means that if you take the time to research and think about the reader and their needs and wants, you can help the them understand you and where you are coming from. Sometimes the reader may disagree, but if you share your knowledge and have a good attitude, the reader should respect your opinions and try to see things the way you do. I believe as a writer it is important to stay true to ourselves and our beliefs. It is very easy and common to write to impress. Writing to impress is dishonest and ultimately causes you to loose credibility as a writer. We want the audiance to trust us and we should always take pride in our work and beliefs. 

The main purpose of writing is to communicate. Successful writers use their knowledge to grab the attention of the audiance. They know how to have a good attitude when writing that helps the reader understand and connect with their work. 


21 thoughts on “Writing for an Audience

  1. Your overall description of Linda Flower’s message is clear, concise, and it flows together nicely. As you incorporate your own thoughts into the summary of this message, it definitely adds a much more personal element to the blog, rather than reiterating her words verbatim. This technique allows readers to place themselves in your shoes rather than just receiving information about something they have to read for a class. Interaction and emotion are both key elements in a piece of writing that makes that writing much more interesting to read. You used both in some ways, thus creating a response to Linda Flower that we can all enjoy to read. Also, you gave a much simpler meaning to some of her phrases that made them easier to relate to, rather than the reader having to struggle with the actual text. Ultimately, your response to this excerpt was definitely beneficial in more ways than one!

  2. I agree writing for an audience is extremely important as well. However, it is one of the main things I struggle with in the beginning of my writing process. It is difficult for me to know if I have to write directly to an audience of some specific sort, or if I can write in my voice that would generally reach any audience. Linda Flower helped me understand the thought of discovering an audience when she gives the example of getting a speeding ticket and how you would tell 1. your best friend 2. your parents and 3.a judge. Going down the line, my story of my speeding ticket would change drastically. To my parents I’d suck up to them and tell them anything for them to believe it was not my fault, or simply tell them it was depending what the case was. To my best friend I would describe moment by moment what happened when I was getting pulled over and all the details. If I was in the court room with a judge and I had a lawyer representing me I would tell it from the lawyers perspective. Each one of those three situations my audience changes. It gives me a clear understanding of how to know who my audience is and what is or isn’t a correct way of addressing a prompt and/or situation.

  3. I agree that it is key to relate the the audience so there is a clear understanding of the point you’re trying to get across. It is a waste of time if an author is pondering on a topic but unable to bridge the gap between themselves and the reader. The key is to adapt the knowledge from your writing and tell the reader in a way they’ll understand. I completely support the idea that an author must stay true to themselves and that be evident through their writing because they’re using their knowledge to “reorganize, rethink, and meet the demands of the reader” as Flower puts it. I like that you took the reading and applied it to your life and reflected your opinions through examples Flower uses.

  4. i loved the way that you stressed the belief that writes must stay true to themselves as writers. i think its very important to be aware of and appreciate others ideas while still maintaining your beliefs and sharing them with others. Its so true that audience members must be able to trust the writers or they won’t get anything from the reading, i love that you shared these thoughts.

  5. I agree, if you and our audience are not on the same page, what is the point on trying to talk with them? But, you do not have to always put yourself in their shoes, you can talk about a something you have in common but you may also have a different perspective on it. Agreement is not something I believe should be the focus of your paper. Linda Flower said “adapt your knowledge to the needs of the reader” which is why I believe agreement isn’t a main goal. You write so that you may inform fellow readers on a certain topic which you have written about. There are things written, propaganda, where they are meant to sway you to a certain side but that is not what Linda Flower is talking about.

  6. I believe that your opinion on this piece is very similar to my own reflections. I agree that writing is about honesty, surrender, and communicating. In writing you must capture the audience in order to keep their attention. As you said, not everyone is going to agree with your writing but that does not mean to alter it in any way just to please someone else. An audience is innocent and you must be honest so that readers will trust you and believe you are credible. You can’t ever let your audiences comments change your writing or opinions. Stay true to who you are and whether or not the audience agrees with you, they will respect your honest reflections. So basically you summed everything up perfectly.

  7. All of your points are very valid to what Linda Flowers was trying to portray in her essay. I agree with what you said about how in writing the author should stay true to themselves. I find that also important in every day life. I feel as if most people are most honest when they are composing a piece of work, because in writing there is no judgement; it’s just you and the paper in front of you. However, judgement may come up after a piece is published and that is where I feel as each author really needs to practice the principle of staying honest and true.

    I also agree with how Flowers explained why the writer needs to satisfy a readers needs by going in depth with whatever they ay be talking about. Which brings me back to staying true, because I feel as if a reader can really relate or connect with writing if the author is staying honest. Honest in writing can also give the writer more to talk about because then they can start to bring in their own personal experiences with whatever the topic may be on.

    Keeping the reader engaged is probably the most important factor in any piece or writing. It’s something that Flowers definitely pointed out and recognized needs to happen in any piece of writing.

  8. I think all of your points go right hand in hand with what the author was trying to represent in this essay. I also agree that knowing who your audience is or your target audience is extremely important when creating a work. It helps make the piece much more relatable and enjoyable for the audience. I really like that you included the major quote about good writing will always bridge the gap between the author and audience. That is so important in writing and getting the audience to connect with the piece and your thought. In your conclusion when you said that the main purpose of writing is to communicate, I could not agree more. The better your communication skills become the better your writing becomes and gives the audience a connection that makes them want to keep reading.

  9. I totally agree with what you are saying. I believe that as a writer, you have to find your own voice and your own way of writing. And in doing that there are going to be people that agree with you and people that don’t, but that is something you have to accept because everyone is titled to their own opinion. Linda Flower makes a point that you have to be knowledgeable about what you are writing and therefore it would be hard to write about something you don’t know about. That doesn’t make for a good story and your audience won’t be captivated. Also, you have to be sensitive to your audience’s opinions because they might not have the same attitude as you. I believe writing about what you know is important and it’s beneficial, especially if you’re really passionate about it, but you don’t have to shove your beliefs down other people’s throats. You have to consider your audience’s needs when writing while also staying true to your voice and that is the hard part.

  10. I agree one hundred percent with you. One of the biggest things a writer can do is connect with the audience. Without a strong bond between the reader and the written words, the writing is irrelevant. I think that having a strong connection to the reader is how you become a developed, successful writer. Your point about closing the gap between the reader and the writer goes hand in hand with what I am thinking. You can’t write a good book if you don’t connect with the reader. The main purpose of writing the book or essay is to appeal to the audience you are intending to appeal to. If you can’t do that what is the point of writing in the first place.

  11. Your opinion on this topic is on par with mine, especially staying true to your beliefs. There are a lot of people who will write just to agree to the majority opinion. This kind of writing, as you stated, will cause people to not trust you. Staying true to our beliefs and opinions when writing is going to be key in our writing careers. Our views on things is a small part that makes us unique. We can’t try to form ourselves to something we’re not, its just not right. I think it safe to put ourselves in our audiences shoes, but we have to be careful not to change ourselves for our audience. I do agree that we have to grab our audiences attention because if we don’t have their attention then we can’t get our point across. As long as we stay true to who we are while writing then the audience – in theory – will respect our thoughts and opinions.

  12. I agree with basically your whole blog. The writer should definitely find out what his audiences interests are before he writes so the writer knows what he is working with. I think this is one of the most important things the writer should know before he does write. Same thing with someone that is giving a speech or presentation. I also agree that the reader should respect the writers opinion even if the reader disagrees. It is also a good idea for the writer to use his knowledge on the topic. I agree that if he doesn’t use his/her knowledge, he is basically lying to himself and the readers.

  13. Your view on Linda Flowers’ piece of writing is almost identical to mine. It is crucial that the writer and audience develop a connection in order to grab the attention of the audience. You clearly have a solid grasp on Linda Flowers’ message of grabbing the audience’s attention through being relatable and by sharing common ground with each other in writing. I agree that in order to be a good and successful writer you must share the same ideas with the audience. Without this, the audience may feel bored or alienated because they are not able to relate to the writer.

  14. Your opinion on Linda Flowers almost identical to mine. I also believe it is important to grab the readers attention and not to let go until you gotten your point across. I also enjoyed how you talked about how writers lose their credibility when they try to write to impress. I liked that the most because you can never feel close to a writer if in each novel their view on a topic change. Writers who often change will never be able to keep a readers attention and will have to go back to stage one and read Linda Flowers like I am right now.

  15. I love your emphasis on writers staying true to themselves. I too believe that it’s easier to write to please an audience rather than teach them something. But, like Flower said, if you find a middle ground between you and your reader, you can both enjoy the work that you created. You, as the writer, will learn something about your audience and grow from that experience. Likewise, the audience will see and understand your point of view and learn from it.

  16. I see that most of you feel strongly about “staying true to yourself” even when you adjust to the audience’s needs. While I am a huge promoter of originality and personal expression, I want to challenge this stance just a bit. Remember that writing changes things. If we work as change writers, then we are not seeking a static experience in which we make up our minds, write, and then sit back. We are writing to construct new knowledge, start change, and shape the ideas of our audience as well as ourselves. If writing is an active practice, then it is forming ideas through its process. When this process includes audience analysis and adjustment, it changes the ideas too. We don’t have to be weak, but I doubt we learn much by being inflexible. When we consider the audiences attitudes and needs, we let them closer, become more tolerant, create more unity–regardless of whether we agree or disagree.

  17. Good post! I agree, connection with the reader is key! I wanted to also say I agree and can relate very well with a comment from above about writing about what you know. Its very hard to write something interesting or captivating for yourself or the reader when you aren’t knowledgeable on the topic you’re trying to write about. I remember in creative writing class in high school, my friend started a novel about an Irish girl living with her aunt and uncle in the U.S. As the story unfolded the reader learned that the girl’s parents had been heavy drug abusers and it went on from there. Despite the plot not being 100% original, her story captivated me because she was very knowledgeable about what she was writing about. My friend had been to Ireland several times and knew a lot about the culture. That knowledge and experience by itself gave her writing a unique color and style and depth. Writing with authority and knowledge is very important in engaging the reader because no one wants to read a composition that is wavering on opinion or has holes in a story. When I think of good writing, I think of solidity, a strong, confident voice, and an evident purpose for writing.

  18. A great way to do this is to find out who your audience is and put yourself in their shoes to give yourself a new perspective. This is a great piece of advice for writers to consider. Many times you have to put yourself in other people’s mind set to figure out how they would perceive the topic.

  19. You made a good point. I agree that it is important that we stay true to ourselves and our beliefs. However, as you mentioned, it is indeed very common to write to impress. In fact, when given an assignment, I often find myself thinking of sophisticated vocabulary to use in my writing or interesting organization patterns. Although it does make the writing more impressive, it is dishonest. I never thought of it that way, but it makes sense. If I continue to write to impress, I am making the audience believe that that’s me and that I always talk in a sophisticated tone. By putting yourself in the audience’s shoes, you can get a pretty good idea of what they already know and their attitude. Once you have an idea, you can brainstorm and come up with an honest way of portraying your ideas through your writing.

  20. Capturing the audience is a key part in any work of literature! As you said stay true to who you are as an individual. Conforming to what you think you should say or do, really isn’t your individual take on an idea. Writing to an audience, it is essential to find a “common ground”, as Justin said, because that can open a variety of avenues that your piece of work can go down. What I gathered mostly from what you said, was that most importantly, be yourself when you write. If you do that and try to find a “common ground” between you and your audience, you will have a good piece of literature.

  21. Relating to your audience is a crucial part in literature. That connection between the reader and writer adds a more personal twist to any writing, making the piece and message more attractive. As my fellow peers have mentioned, finding that “common ground” will make a piece of literature much more impacting.

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