Your Reader

At some point you must begin to shift your attention to your reader. You must concern yourself with organizing the writing you have done so that it will meet the purposes of your reader.

For this type of revision, it may help to imagine a hypothetical reader. Imagining how this person would respond to what you have written will help you decide what you need to say to establish the context for your discussion and to be convincing about your main points.

Sometimes an instructor will specify a particular audience as an aspect of the assignment. For example, writing a recommendation to a school board about the best policy to adopt in its schools regarding a certain issue. In cases like this put yourself in the place of the hypothetical audience and consider the questions they are likely to have, the information they need and the kind of arguments that they are likely to find convincing.

sparkClick on the sections below to learn more about addressing the needs of your reader for clarity and significance.

No matter what hypothetical audience you have, it is still the case that your instructor will read and mark the essay. Therefore, be sure that you have read the assignment information carefully and clarified the instructor’s expectations. And in case of uncertainty, speak to your instructor about how you should imagine your audience.