Ex.1 Discuss the following questions. 

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Ex.1 Discuss the following questions.

1. Have you ever had a chance to present your speech or report before an unknown audience?

2. Is speaking hard for you?

3. If speaking is hard for you, did you manage to think out some «helping tricks» to make the procedure easier?

4. Do you know any physiological techniques to help you while speaking before an unknown audience?


Ex. 2 If you were writing an oral presentation, you would consider your audience and adjust your style accordingly. The same procedure applies to writing. Choose the most important characteristics your audience will influence your

- choice of vocabulary - the tone of the essay
- timbre of voice - manner of behavior
- sentence structure - the kind of language
- tempo of speech - the kind of evidence you use to support - appearance your thesis

Ex. 3 Starting to write an essay you should know what audience you are writing for. Why is it so important? State your point of view.


The Academic Audience

Another feature of effective academic writing is control of audience and tone, or formality. The audience is comprised of the reader(s) the writer is targeting or addressing a message to. In an academic course, the reader will be the professor and often the other students. In addition, there are other academic situations in which the assignment may directly or indirectly state who the audience will be. For example, a master’s degree candidate writing comprehensive exams knows that the audience consists of a committee of professors in his or her major. Also, a student applying for a scholarship usually has to write a statement of purpose, which will be read by the committee granting the scholarships. In each of these cases, the writing should be formal (serious and objective) and contain pertinent information the committee needs to know regarding why the candidate deserves to pass the comprehensive exam or get the scholarship. On the other hand, the same students writing letters to friends should choose an informal (intimate and friendly) style to describe their daily routines, personal problems, or travel plans.

As these cases show, addressing the audience with the correct level of formality helps the writers to connect with and persuade (or win) the audience. However, if the writers choose the wrong level of formality and language, they will probably alienate (or lose) their audiences. The committee members will consider the candidates disrespectful or immature (not academic material) if the language is too informal. In the same way, if the students use formal or technical language in their letters to friends, they may sound arrogant or condescending (superior to others).

Ex.4 Use the previous text to answer the following questions.

1. What are different situations when one might need to write an academic paper?

2. What are the characteristics of the formal writing?

3. What are the characteristics of the informal writing?

4. Why is it so important for the writer to analyze the audience?

5. What helps the writer to connect with and to persuade the audience?

6. Do you know any techniques to win the audience immediately?


Ex.5 Choose the correct words out of the given list to answer the following question: «When planning a paper addressed to or pertinent to a certain audience what factors are you to consider identifying the audience? ». State your point of view.


the audience’s age, hobbies, marital status, sex, social status, level of education, special interests or needs, profession, nationality, knowledge of French, weight, cultural or racial background, family members, feelings and attitudes, relationship to you, occupation


Ex. 6 There are many occasions when a student needs to be convincing and persuasive in writing for different reasons (purposes). Below there is a short list of some situations. Can you think out some more?

You are writing to fulfill an academic assignment, complete an essay test in your major, share information with family or friends, get a scholarship, solve a problem, apply for a job, borrow money from your father, persuade a publisher to publish your book, win a short-story contest, …


Script 3

Ex. 7 Alan Bradshaw gives some basic advice on the audience the students are writing for. Listen to his speech and decide whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F).

1. Audience you are writing for is one of the most important parts of the process of writing.

2. There is no need to consider your audience and adjust your style accordingly when writing an oral presentation.

3. Your audience will influence your choice of vocabulary, sentence structure, and even the kind of evidence you use to support your thesis.

4. Writing a paper for a university professor obviously requires a lower level of stylistic polish than writing a letter to your friend.

5. There is no need to keep in mind the preferences of the instructor, as well as the requirements of the essay while writing.

6. The person who gave the initial directions (your professor) determines a variety of approaches that may be taken and the appropriate path to follow when writing an essay.

Script 4

Ex. 8 Alan Bradshaw gives some basic advice to his students on the tone of the essay. Listen to the tape and note down as many as you can recognize.


Levels of Formality

There are different degrees of formality, but these descriptions should help you find the right level for academic writing. Academic writing can be technical, especially when the audience and situation require specialized knowledge. Formal academic writing is usually less technical because the audience and/or level of knowledge may be more general. Personal writing, however, can range from informal to colloquial, depending on the relationship the writer has with the reader and the situation. The closer the relationship between the writer and the audience, the more relaxed the language is. Therefore, the most informal discourse is colloquial (conversational).

The range of formality

Technical → Formal → Informal → Colloquial

  Technical / Formal (Academic) Informal / Colloquial (Personal)
Audience professors close friends and family
Tone formal, objective, serious informal, intimate, friendly
Vocabulary academic, a wide range, concise, accurate slang, idioms, contracted forms
Style complex (subordination), sentence variety may content frequent simple or compound sentences
Language few, if any, errors may content fragments, run-on sentences, misspellings, punctuation errors
Content depth of though, unified, tight, succinct conversational, may be repetitive
Organization clear, coherent, well planed may be less structured then formal writing

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