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Markel, Chapter 4: Analyzing Your Audience and Purpose

00020-Construction Engineering Brochure-5078 by Jared Horn, on FlickrChapter 4 discusses why the concepts of audience and purpose are vitally important in every kind of writing (in fact, any kind of communication). The audience and purpose for any project you work on will determine the information you include and the tone and style that you use. We will talk about audience and purpose for every project that you work on in this class, so Chapter 4 is a foundation for the rest of the course.

Importance of Audience and Purpose

For audience, Chapter 4 identifies four key questions to answer for any writing project:

  • Who are your readers?
  • Why is your audience reading your document?
  • What are your readers’ attitudes and expectations?
  • How will your readers use your document?

Pay attention to the details on those questions in your reading, as well as the idea of primary, secondary, and tertiary audiences. As you read about purpose in the Chapter 4, be sure you understand the details on these four questions:

  • Why is the reader reading your document?
  • How will the reader read your document?
  • What is the reader’s reading skill level?
  • What is the physical environment in which the reader will read your document?

These questions will help you make decisions about the information in writing projects as well. For instance, the reading skill of your reader will help you decide if your technical jargon is appropriate.

At the end of the chapter, be sure to notice the “Writer’s Checklist” (pp. 76-77). You will find a checklist at the end of nearly every chapter in the book. These lists are a nice summary of the important concepts in the chapter. For some of the projects we will work on, we will use the checklists for peer review and feedback on what you write.

Reading Quiz

After reading the chapter, complete the reading quiz in Canvas for Chapter 4.


Photo: 00020-Construction Engineering Brochure-5078 by Jared Horn, on Flickr


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