Writing process

Determining the audience and form of your writing

Determining the audience and form of your writing

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Determining the audience and form of your writing

​​In a nutshell

It is easier to make effective language, tone and structure choices when you first know your audience, purpose, and form.


You should write for the readers you expect to read a text. A direct message is typically addressed to one or two people, whether by email or handwritten letter. It is essential to consider how well you know the recipient when determining the language and style. The familiarity of the audience will change the tone and language you use to address them, with a close friend getting a more personalised message than a work colleague.

Texts with a wider audience change the way in which you approach your writing style. Since you cannot personalise your writing for your readers, you need to assume a few things about them: age, culture, gender and topic knowledge. When you know your audience, even an imagined one, you can use language and a style that will work cohesively for them.

A text intended for an experienced baker will have a completely different tone to that of a music fan blog for teenagers.


Texts are written with a purpose in mind. You might want to write to convince, inform, review or instruct. Finding the purpose of your work allows you to structure your work to best achieve your goal and get the best end result. 


Language form

To convince 
Implement rhetorical devices
To instruct
Implement imperative language
To review
Implement descriptive language


Form refers to the appearance and layout of a piece of writing. Choosing a form affects what you write, how you write and how you structure your work. As such, conventions vary from form to form.



Instructions are clear and concise
Includes a list of ingredients
Includes imperative language
A less formal approach than a letter
A strong subject line that summarises the content
Often includes hyperlinks
The storyline follows a logical progression
It includes fictional characters
Broken up into chapters
Has a strong and catchy headline
Broken into short and snappy sections
Reports on real-life events
Strong and concise introduction
Fair and convincing arguments
A conclusion that cements the line of arguments presented

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

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