ERIC Number: ED199706
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Audience-Based Composition: The Freshman Writer and the Professional Journalist.
Wootten, Judith A.
If the measure of success in nonfiction prose writing is the writer's ability to communicate whatever it is he or she wishes to communicate, the purpose in writing must be defined with reference to the reader. Papers produced for freshman composition courses frequently show that students do not anticipate an audience. Information about audience constraints of professional writers may help design writing tasks and evaluation procedures to encourage students to take a more professional attitude toward their writing. Of all professional writers, journalists seem to come closest to student writers because they operate under similar constraints. To discover how news reporters are affected by audience constraints, reporters were asked to prepare protocols while they wrote actual stories for publication. The reporters were then interviewed about the organization, syntax, and diction they used in various versions of the story. Students were also asked to record either on tape or in the margins of their papers the reasons for any changes made as they drafted and revised. A comparison of responses revealed that journalists thought of the audience and reader more than did the college freshmen. Until courses can be designed to give students audiences in addition to the grader/teacher, they will not be able to write for others. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Awareness; News Reporters; Revision (Written Composition)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (32nd, Dallas, TX, March 26-28, 1981).