Effective communication depends largely on understanding your audience. Your audience’s expectations, characteristics, knowledge level, and information needs determine the content you choose to present, the depth of detail you provide, the overall tone or attitude of your writing, and even the purpose you establish for your communication.
In addition to knowing the importance of analyzing audience, you should also be able to distinguish a document’s primary and secondary audiences.
- Primary audiences are the major intended readers for your document. In the workplace, your primary audience is the person or persons who will understand and act on your message.
- Secondary audiences are the other potential readers of your document. These are people who may receive a copy of your document.
Most workplace communication has a combination of primary and secondary audiences. For example, people attended your presentation (primary audience) might later share information about your presentation and your handouts with people who didn’t attend (secondary audience).
For this assignment, choose two (2) websites that present information on the same subject. However, the two (2) websites should be aimed at different primary audiences. One website should be designed for a non-technical audience and the other for a technical/specialized audience.
Write a memo to your instructor analyzing both websites and their audiences (primary and secondary) and explain the persuasive strategies each website uses to serve its primary audience’s needs.
Synthesize your analysis to the following questions:
Note: You need to answer all of these questions; your failure to answer all questions will result in point deductions.
- What primary audiences do the two websites seem to aim for? What kind of knowledge do the audiences seem to possess about the subject matter? What are their age(s), genders, education level, occupations, and cultural background?
- Who are the secondary audiences of these websites? Who else might use information found on these sites?
- What persuasive strategies do the websites employ to appeal to their primary audiences? Do they use claims? Do they make an effort to connect with the audience? (See pages 48-51 of your textbook for more on persuasion)
- To what extent do the websites use technical language? Do you see any examples of jargon? Give examples
- How long is the average sentence in each website? How long is the average paragraph? Does this tell you anything about the audience?
- How formal/informal are their respective style? Why?
- Is there advertising? If so, what do the ads tell you about the audience?
- Do the website use tables, graphs, figures, illustrations or images? How different are they on the two websites?
- Keep in mind that your purpose is to compare and contrast the two websites, not merely to describe them (failure to compare and contrast will result in a 20-point deduction)
- Do not simply type the questions followed by your answers. Like all professional memos, this one should summarize and organize the information into coherent and well-written narratives (failure to use a narrative will result in 5-point deduction)
- Format: Use a business memo format. You can also use a memo template in Word. (Failure to use a business memo format will result in 10-point deduction)
- Minimum word requirement: 750 words (Failure to meet the minimum word count will result in a 5-point deduction)
- Make sure to include the Websites’ URLs in your memo (Failure to include working URLs will result in a 5-point deduction)
- Required title for final version: your last name-audience analysis memo. (Failure properly title your file name will result in a 5-point deduction)
- Submit the document as a PDF. You will only be able to submit a PDF.
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