Writing for an Audience

In the passage “Writing for an Audience” Linda Flower, author and well renowned college professor, described how you should write to an audience by advantageously depicting the process herself. Professing her skill in rhetoric, Flower uses her profound knowledge to establish logos while also using an emotional appeal of pathos to focus on sympathizing and “creating a common ground” with the us; thus, Flower uses her techniques to lessen our differences in knowledge, attitudes, and needs to focus on the best way to write for an audience.

Flower diligently articulates how we instill knowledge so that we powerfully get the point across the first time. I’m sure we can recall a time someone messed up telling a joke… that’s the difference between getting laughed with and laughed at. Luckily writing is a story with rough drafts.

Through the knowledge we give we can then develop a since of attitude that depicts an image the way we want it to We must generalize the emotions and associations so that we can relate to our audience and even let their imagination run some. Use the knowledge to outline the mental picture and some attitude to give it some color that will catch the audience’s attention. The more our attitude differs from our audience, “the more we will have to do to make him or her see what we see.”

We can drop knowledge with as much passion as we want; however, getting amped up about rainbows to someone that’s color blind will get us nowhere. Grab the audience’s attention and give them a sense of belonging, “adapt to them.” Grab them by the hips and teach them to dance. Flower does well with this as she implicates this with the inevitable teacher to student relationship or when she describes the weather which has affected us since we were born. Flower even exemplified a way to establish a common ground with us by using a generic third person approach by using words such as: you, we, us, and ours. For example:

It’s the ninetieth minute! Under the stadium lights, we move the ball around the perfectly prepared soccer field with such a serene flow that it is almost as if all the blood, sweat, and tears from practice has been poured onto the pitch and is connecting each pass as we ring out everything we’ve got into these last final minutes. We can see the crowd in a disarray of our fans at the edge of their seats and our parents at the edge of losing their voice. I ram a pass that breaks through their barricade of a defense and we storm towards the goal. As the longest final minutes our team has ever endured begin to come to an end we give it one last shot. With our hope streaming behind it, the ball is sent sailing through the air over our heads just out of their goal keeper‘s reach. For a moment I seem weightless as I watch the ball soar into my view. Within a blink of a moment my I gaze at the ball as it makes contact with my forehead. Shocked, their keeper attempts to capture such a moment, but he lets it slip! With the ball in the back of the net, the whistle blows and we rush the stands to meet our eagerly waiting fans half way, as the new national champions.

Imagine if we were to use “one time my team and I were playing soccer. It almost had to go into overtime, but I scored.” Imagine if we used my team and I instead of we, us, or ours. Imagine if we were to take out the knowledge and the details that gave the point of view at times.

Instead we grabbed their attention!” I closed the gap between us and the reader. I targeted my audience as athletes; therefore, we are then able to “establish a common ground.” I realized that most of them have parents that try to coach from the stands louder than the one on the field, that we could see the practice transition to the game, and that the flow and the passion in the game matched how I wrote. I’ve been apart of every single one of my best memories. Write to the audience to give them something to remember.


22 thoughts on “Writing for an Audience

  1. I love how you said this “I’m sure we can recall a time someone messed up telling a joke… that’s the difference between getting laughed with and laughed at. Luckily writing is a story with rough drafts.” to really bring a personalized view point. View point is such an important factor in reading and you really showed that well in this blog. It’s so true how important it is to give the audience something to remember because if they don’t remember what they’ve read then its as if they haven’t anything at all.

  2. The personal tone and experience that you incorporated into this response, as well as the detail and description you utilized made it interesting, informative and very persuasive in a sense. The degree to which you analyzed this passage of Linda Flower’s “Writing for an Audience” was large and thus allowed the readers of both the text and your response to imagine exactly what it means to be an audience as well as what it means to give to the audience. All in all, your response included many of the needed and important characteristics of a good response. As I mentioned before, it was informative and useful; definitely something to utilize when reading Linda Flower’s “Writing for an Audience.”

  3. I find it very interesting how in depth you looked into what Linda Flower meant by captivating her audience. It’s very important to do so when writing because if your audience isn’t captivated within the first couple lines, then it is highly unlikely that they will continue reading. When writing you have to connect to your target audience and you can do so with description, as you showed us, and by actually knowing what you’re talking about. That relates to what Flower said about knowledge and that you have to have knowledge about what you are talking about. I bet if you hadn’t experienced that winning goal then you wouldn’t have been able to describe it as well as someone who had. In describing it like that you have captivated your audience and have put them on the same level as you and you are meeting their expectations.

  4. You gave me a new perspective on closing the gap between us and the reader. Not only do you need to keep them captivated, you need to include them into the story. Make them feel like they are actually there. You kept the story very realistic with a in depth description of everything. I could picture every scene in my mind with ease. Your response has definitely given me a new way to look at closing the gap between us and the reader. I could connect with the author – you – because you were describing something that you experienced, it was believable because you knew what you were talking about. Just like Flower said about effective writers, “Instead they are using their knowledge…” To write effectively, you need to know what you are talking about or the audience will most likely lose interest.

  5. I really like how much time and thought you seemed to put into this blog. I do like how you used the joke and the difference of getting laughed at and laughed with for knowledge of the topic. I also like how you said “writing is a story with rough drafts.” Actually, you gave many examples relating to the article “Writing For An Audience” such as the rainbow one and the soccer one. You really gave me some good pictures in my mind about what Linda Flower was writing about. For the most part, I agree with your opinion on this article.

  6. We share the same view on the topic of Linda Flowers’ piece of writing. I liked that while writing your blog you incorporated the different ways to grasp a reader’s attention that Flowers had talked about. I thought that the personal interest of soccer you added was a nice touch because it was different. The soccer topic is a big attention grabber for me. I am a huge soccer fan so anything soccer related will catch my attention. You have clearly demonstrated that you understand what it takes for the writer to grab the audience’s attention through sharing common ground, adding a personal interest, and being relatable.

  7. The view that you have on what Linda Flowers’ was trying to portray was very similar to mine. Throughout your response to her writing you used her techniques to help the reader, me in this case, stay focused. Your example with the soccer team reached out to me especially not only because I am a soccer player but because the details and your use of us and we painted a perfect picture in my head. The example helped clearly demonstrate Flowers’ perspective and furthered her point. This actually helped me understand the reading more because of your articulation of her key points.

  8. The one thing that stuck out to me with your response was when you acknowledged that Flower recommends that we get our point across the first time to the right audience. For me, that can be a challenge. I say that because I question whether I am writing correctly, incorporating the right words, and whether or not I sound sophisticated enough to my audience that I wish to reach. Using rough drafts in writing helps me tremendously. It usually takes me a good couple of rough draft edits to really get to who my audience is. I think that may be one reason why writing isn’t my favorite. It takes me so long to establish who my audience is and how exactly I should write in that particular paper. Sometimes I find myself writing and I’ll reread it and think that it sounds nothing like my voice…as in: who I am as a writer. I gets me into trying too hard to sound like something I am not and that is my biggest struggle. I like how you gave the example of the soccer game using the word “we” because it did completely establish an audience and was clear that you wanted no gap between you and the reader and using “we” makes the reader feel as though they are in the situation. When the reader feels like its he/she in the situation, it allows him/her to feel a connection.

    1. This comment interests me because you discuss the writing process and audience. When is the right time to consider audience? Sometimes I do it from the very beginning. Of course as soon as you know why you are writing, you have considered the audience. I must admit, however, that audiences can be intimidating. The teacher audience is one example. Sometimes I have to write for myself to see what I want to say and why. My daybook serves well for this stage. Later, I begin to think about the audience and let them shape my articulation of ideas. The more I publish and share, the less intimidated I am by audiences. In fact, they can make writing exciting and more productive. I encourage everyone to think about where in their process they let the audience play a role in the composition.

  9. I love the personality you brought to your blog, and how you even wrote your own short story as an example. I agree that writers need to add lots of detail to their writings so that the readers, even if they have never experienced something like it before, can understand and follow along. Sometimes they can almost feel like they were there with you, partaking in the event. Great job!

  10. The way you explained the way of capturing an audience really explained everything I needed to know. I love the use of your personal experience as a soccer player, because as a reader I can also relate, I’ve played soccer since I was four years old. Using your words to create a “common ground” which captures the audience’s attention, is really well said and easily understood. I also believe that if you can’t capture and audience, then what’s the point of writing. This piece was really well written, as you said, the audience (me) was captured by what you wrote.

    1. I like the way you clearly demonstrated the way Flower explains how the author needs to relate to the audience. The personal tone you implemented helped relate to the audience and “bridge the gap.” You conveyed a practical way to apply Flowers’ instruction of how to be an effective author. Your commentary on the literature was well executed and you clearly expressed the importance of relating to the audience and creating a “common ground.” I also enjoyed the humor because it helped the flow of your blog with the small insertion of comic relief. I relate completely with the soccer analogy and it really put the concepts Flower expresses because if I’m excited about a game I won, and I want to express that excitement, its all about how your explain it to a reader. It take grabbing there attention and explaining how the audience will comprehend the piece of work.

  11. Your post in itself proved your point to me. I’m not a sports person by any means, soccer being one of the least interesting to me. Yet your short description of the end of a soccer game engaged me! Its true if you had made it short, concise, to the point, I probably would’ve been bored and maybe even skipped over that part of the blog. But you wrote with a sense of urgency, excitement and knowledge of the real experience. The details and imagery you used also evoked a different attitude from the reader as you chose words that painted an exciting, vivid, mental image in the reader’s mind! Well done!

  12. I agree with your comments about how important audience is. When you write you have got to connect to the audience because that is who you are writing for. I like your comment about somebody telling a joke wrong. The difference between laughing with someone and audience. If the audience is connected well they are more likely to enjoy the reading. If the connection between the audience and the writer is weak, it is more likely that the reader will become less interested in the writing. This is very important because if you don’t have a connected audience you don’t really have an audience at all.

  13. I really enjoyed your example on how to bridge the gap between yourself, the writer, and the audience. Descriptive writing makes all the difference in the world. The way you described the soccer game made the audience feel as if they were actually there rather than reading some ordinary narrative. I also strongly agree with you in the fact that you stressed grabbing the audience’s attention. It really makes or breaks the work in whether the reader wants to keep reading it for its entirety or just skim it and try to catch the main points. I think everything you said was spot on and really enjoyed your main points on descriptive writing and bridging the gap.

  14. ” I closed the gap between us and the reader. I targeted my audience as athletes; therefore, we are then able to “establish a common ground.” This really stuck out to me, the way you speak, write, etc. all affects how people react. By portraying a certain thought a particular way you can convince readers without them knowing you’re doing it by rhetoric. Once everyone receives the message as one it is a lot easier to have the common good for the reader, team, etc. achieved.

  15. I love how you started your response by admiring how Linda Flower explains how to write and connect to an audience while she incorporates what she wrote in this passage. It is interesting how she explains that the writer should connect to the audience through knowledge, attitude, and needs. In her own passage, she speaks to the audience as if we have the same level of knowledge. Also, she uses her attitude toward writing and the needs of the audience (me), by explaining how to connect to the audience; and at the same time, I am able to connect with the author about this topic. It is interesting that I am not a huge fan of or very good at writing, yet I am still able to understand her message about connecting with the audience. It is almost ironic–I expected to read a boring passage about someone explaining how a writer should connect with his or her audience, but instead, I read an interesting passage in which the writer explains her topic by connecting to her audience as well. Something really interesting about this post is your own example of how a writer should connect with his or her audience. By reading your story about how your team scored a goal in the last few minutes of a game, I was able to understand the rush of emotions at that time. Overall, this was a very relatable and well-organized blog post.

  16. I agree, you need to get the point across the first time. If you spend most of the paper just rephrasing and rewording what you stated in the first paragraph your not only wasting your time but the other readers as well. Also, getting amped over something like rainbows to a blind person, you need to establish common ground over something small to something extremely large. Your example was perfect, a lot better than I can do, you did everything you talked about and everything I agree that should happen. Instilling knowledge upon readers should be the goal of your paper, helping the reader shed light upon a topic they know little to none about.

  17. You’re post about Linda Flower’s piece is full of passion and kept me thoroughly interested while I was reading. I love how you said that the best memories were the ones you were a part of. The quote “grab them by the hips and teach him to dance” really stood out to me because I am a dancer and it is something I can relate to and think about the next time I am writing to an audience. I also loved the personal experience. I could picture the whole seen running through my head like I was on the front row watching it happen. I agree with both you and Flower that it makes writing so much more relatable and interesting to include a personal experience! I enjoyed your blog post very much and think that you definitely hit the nail on the head.

  18. For some reason my blog response didn’t post, but here I am now.

    Throughout your entire blog post I was intrigued. As an audience member I was definitely drawn in. I agree with what you said, “Use the knowledge to outline the mental picture and some attitude to give it some color that will catch the audience’s attention.” It is important to give the audience something to think about as they keep reading along any piece of writing. I feel like you did that well in your post. I know that is the hardest thing for me as a reader. I have a hard time staying focused in any sort of reading. I enjoy shorter writing like blog posts and articles.

    Another thing that I could connect was, as a fellow soccer player I have had a similar experience with scoring the winning goal for an important game, so I also could connect to that. Linda Flowers was very wise in what she wrote about keeping the audience drawn into any form of writing. I enjoyed your blog a lot; very well written!

  19. I really enjoyed your blog and how you depicted Flower’s message. ” I closed the gap between us and the reader. I targeted my audience as athletes; therefore, we are then able to “establish a common ground.” I believe what you said here is very important and encapsulates her message very well.The act of connecting to one’s audience and establishing a common thread or some sort of familiarity, enhances the reader’s attention and focus onto your writing.

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