Know Your Audience: Observing (And Making Choices About) Languages

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A winner of the Knight Award for Writing Exercises and Handouts, this work originates from Earth and Atmospheric Sciences 1420, Sustainable Earth, Energy, and Environmental System. This exercise is designed to give students the opportunity to study and practice how writers shape language to reach different audiences. They first consciously observe the language of experienced authors by observing in groups writing that covers the same major topics but that is directed to three different audiences: (1) an academic audience with experience in the general topic area covered by the article but not necessarily expert in the particular field of the article; (2) an academic audience of specialists in the field of the article; and (3) an adult non-academic audience. Students then write about the same topic for a different, younger audience. A handout, a "Comparison Chart for the Three Writing Samples," specifying which language issues to notice, is included. 6 page pdf
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2011
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