Friday, March 13, 2009

Writing and Audience

Intended Audience obviously has a great impact on writing form and style. I write regularly at three different blogs, and have a very different conception of who may be reading each.  I don't simply write a brief essay on a topic, then post the essay wherever the content fits; I have a very different tone and style at each blog.

Consideration for audience can be a challenge in a composition course; students, I think, tend to see themselves writing for the teacher.  That's why (inspired by my brother) I'm now asking students to read their in-class informal writings aloud.  It is not that I want to intimidate them (although some are obviously frightened by the prospect), nor that I want them to learn how to read aloud (though they may).  It is that I don't want students to think they are only writing for me.  Knowing that they may be reading their responses aloud, they may write differently.  They may gain a better sense of  public identity as a writer.  That seems important to how we use language.

I'm hoping students engage more deeply with their writing (particularly tone, style, form) when they are "performing" not exclusively for a teacher, but for each other.

1 comment:

  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know

    what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Sarah

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    ReplyDelete