Three Questions Readers Ask of Manuscripts by Orson Scott Card

In a Google Document, answer the following questions.

What are the three questions?
How can you prepare for them?

Questions to Consider When Thinking About Your Audience

I. Discovering and Identifying Your Reader

    • Such factors as age, education, profession, and interests of your audience can make a difference in determining which points of your argument to stress or omit, which ideas need additional explanation, and what kind of language to adopt.
    • Check to see if assignment has a specific audience
      • If not, make one up. Imagining a specific audience helps you to be clear and more interesting
    • If there is a specific audience, ask questions
      • What do these readers want to learn?
      • What do they hope to gain?
      • Do they need your information to make a decision?
        • Formulate a new plan? Design a new project?
      • What action do you want them to take?
    • Try to discover what knowledge your audience has of your subject
      • What, if anything, can you assume that your readers already know about your subject.
      • What background information might they need to know to understand the current situation clearly?
      • What facts, explanations, or examples will best present your ideas? How detailed should you be?
      • What terms need to be defined? Equipment explained?
    • Pose questions about your readers’ attitudes and emotional states
      • Are your readers already biased for or against your ideas in some way?
      • Do they have positive or negative associations with your subject?
      • Are they fearful or anxious, reluctant or bored?
      • Do they have radically different expectations or interests?
    • Think of any special qualities that might set your audience apart from any other
      • Are they older or younger than your peers?
      • Do they share similar educational experiences or training?
      • Are they from a particular part of the world or country that might affect their perspective? Urban or rural?

II. What readers don’t like

    • Being bored
    • Confusion and/or disorder
    • Pretentious, phony voices

III. What readers want (whether they know it or not)

    • To think and learn
    • To see what you see and feel what you feel

Don’t ever forget your readers! Thinking of them as you write will help you choose your ideas, organize your information effectively, and select the best words.


10 Audience Analysis Exercises

In a Google Document, choose any one of the exercises in the list above and do it.