writing to an audience

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To some extent, I’ve always written for a specific audience. During my time as a writer, I’ve focused on three types of writing – essays, letters, and blogs – and each type of writing varies in tone and content. 

The difference between an essay and a blog or letter is obvious. I write essays for school, and so the audience is my teacher. The trick, of course, is to know what they want, but once you understand how they think and grade, addressing them is easy enough. The most interesting difference, then, is found between the letters and blogs I write. In both cases, I have some sense of my audience; letters are addressed to people I know, and, though my blog posts have a vaguer audience, I consider it likely that the main reader is my grandmother. Nonetheless, while the tone of both documents is similar (though this specific blog will lean towards formality, as it was created for a class), the content differs – though not necessarily in overarching storyline. In a letter to a friend, for instance, I might tell the same story that I write about on my blog. The details, however, are different. Here, I focus more on themes; in a letter, I would give more detail.

For instance, in a recent blog post, I talked about the sensations and images of a concert in relation to the pain of waiting; in a letter to my pen pal, I would describe how cute the brothers in the opening band were. The difference is based on audience. I don’t want to broadcast to the world my opinions on boys, nor do I think it would particularly care. My pen pal, however, will care, and would look up the band so that she could give me her own opinion.

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