This workshop focuses on the different audiences for which students write. It explores the ways in which young writers should pay attention to the people who will be reading their work, both in their academic careers and in daily life, and how their teachers can support them.
These are the key points the teachers, educators, authors, and students consider:
- Writing is a nonlinear and dynamic process. It proceeds at its own pace. Each step takes only as long as it needs to. It involves multiple processes, even for the same writer and/or the same writing task.
- In the processes of writing, the first audience many writers address is themselves.
- Teachers should have strategies in place to help writers at every step in the processes of writing. One of these strategies should be devoted to identifying the audience for a piece of writing.
- Students should write for many audiences, including their teachers and peers, their friends and family, and the extended community around them.
- Students should expect to write across the curriculum for audiences in specific disciplines. If they are exposed to the processes of writing, they can adapt them throughout their academic career. Writing across the curriculum stresses one important benefit from writing: when students write about content, they understand it better and remember it longer. Writing generates thought.
Students need help from their teachers in being prepared for the transition from writing for high school audiences to writing for college audiences, to writing in their professions, and to writing in everyday life (email, letters, and reports) for myriad audiences.
Try this interactive activity to practice writing for different audiences. It's part of A Writer's Notebook, an online writer's workshop led by noted author Judith Ortiz Cofer.