Thursday, May 31, 2012

Audience Analysis

Question: Is audience analysis a simple matter for writers?

Answer/Quote: “At an afternoon meeting of a professional writing group for K-12 teachers in our local area, a group of teachers sat around a table sharing ideas and partial drafts of articles for publication. Responding to a call for manuscripts, they worked to develop drafts of articles that described promising slices of their classroom practice or examined problematic teaching situations they had encountered. The teachers around the table differed in terms of degrees held, years of experience in teaching, prior experience with writing, and familiarity with professional journals, yet they described some shared challenges in developing heir articles.

Quote: “They wondered aloud whether they had ‘enough’ evidence, referring to the anecdotes and artifacts from their classrooms that they were analyzing in the drafts. Some worried that they needed more citations or even statistics from some large-scale study in order to make the observations they wished to make. They talked about the appropriate register for addressing the readers of a journal, wondering if it should be like speaking to colleagues in a faculty meeting or writing to a professor in a graduate course. They sometimes wondered whether they might ‘get in trouble’ with their building and district administrators if they expressed criticisms of curricula in place in their school or, more subtly, if they described teaching approaches that differed from the district curriculum guide.” Pp. 390-391.

Comment: Pretty good example of how audience analysis can be very complex. RayS.

Title: “Audience and Authority in the Professional Writing of Teacher-Authors.” AE Whitney, C Dawson, K Anderson, SK, EO Rios, N Olcese, and M Ridgeman. Research in the Teaching of English (May 2012), 390-419.

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