Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
Join/Log In
Topic Introduction
Judith Ortiz Cofer Reads...
Write On Your Own
Read Other Responses
Use Assignment In Class

  HOME     About This Workshop     Teacher-Talk     Support Materials     Site Map  
First Steps A Shared Path Different Audiences Different Purposes
Usage and Mechanics Providing Feedback on Student Writing Learning from Professional Writers Writing in the 21st Century
You can listen to Judith Ortiz Cofer as she introduces the activity.
Listen to the audio.Play

"One of the concepts that we have to talk about with our students is the concept of audience. They already know what audience is, believe me, because I hear my students, even at the college level, talking among themselves. And then I hear them in my classroom. And I hear them in the athletic field and they are talking different types of English. They know audience. They know how to talk to me usually. They know how to talk to each other and it has to do with tone. It has to do with style. It has to do with many things that they don't want to hear about.

"But basically, audience is what you internalize before you begin writing and then forget about it. That's the way I do it. I mainly don't write for a specific audience when I am writing work that is generated by my own need to tell a story or write a poem. I get up in the morning and I'm not, . . . and I don't say, "I think I'll write this for my mother." Or, "I'm going to write this as a love poem," and that sort of thing.

"But occasionally I have to think in terms of audience. But I find that, for me, the best thing to do is to get a general idea of whom I will be trying to convince and then not to think about it again, because audience can also be inhibiting.

"What I would like to do is to tell you about a little piece, an essay that I wrote, non-fiction, not creative, non-fiction, non-fiction. Glamour Magazine asked me to write an article for their journal, for their magazine, which is read (according to the advertisements) by women ages 18 to 34 interested in fashion, weight loss and a few other things. And they also have serious articles. And so they wanted me to write about how Latinas feel as part of the mainstream culture in terms of, you know, clothing, body image and that sort of thing. So I wrote this piece called 'The Myth Of the Latin Woman: I Just Met A Girl Named Maria.' And I'll just read you the first paragraph of that."

155 previous   next 


Build a Rubric 
Writer's Notebook 

© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy