The concept of audience in writing is one way for students express themselves and also to reflect on their experiences in schools. However, in most cases, students rarely entrench or write with their audience on their mind (VanderMey, Meyer, Rys, & Sebranek, 2014).
A good number of students especially international students, tend to perceive their cultural values as opposite or superior to local values; thus their expression at the expense of their audiences. This paper discusses the purpose, feasibility as well as preparation to share my writing with an audience most specifically local audience.
The intended Audience
The intended audiences are parents who have young children with drinking problems and students who enroll in colleges. These two make a diverse audience. Given that I am an international student, audience-awareness is vital to my writing.
By audience awareness, I mean the way I shape my work specifically by anticipating reactions from the targeted audiences or readers. When writing I am always conscious to the fact that readers do have attitudes, assumptions, knowledge, expectations, as well as habits that may generally differ from my own.
Therefore, audience awareness enabled me to be very effective particularly in the way I manage to communicate the existing differences and variation among the audience (VanderMey, Meyer, Rys, & Sebranek, 2014). For instance, when writing about the concern for students in the Field of Business Administration, I recognized that most students come from different backgrounds with different expectations.
Therefore, to communicate their expectations and likely disappointments without any prejudice or anything close to that, I generalized my message to avoid being seen as if I was targeting some people. In fact, I made the entire message to be somewhat advisory instead of educative. This helped me to appeal to them early enough an aspect that helped in drawing their attention.
For instance, I advised them that students intending to major in the field of business administration (strategic management option) need to be fully prepared on what strategies and approaches they will adopt to sharpen their analytic, decision making, and innovative capabilities as these are expected of a modern-day leader in a business organization.
Therefore, the concept of audience in this case played a major role particularly in terms of getting the best advice for them in terms of selecting correctly the preferred subject choices (VanderMey, Meyer, Rys, & Sebranek, 2014).
Similarly, in the second essay about parental exposure and underage drinking, the choice of audience, in this case, parents to young children who engage in drinking habits also influenced my writing in many ways. Since, parents are going through a hard time with their children perhaps spending a lot of money to have them cured, I felt the best tone and message that could capture their attention was advisory and not educative.
I basically emphasized the way this audience to learn and internalize behavior based on the events happening in the immediate environment. In this context, it is highly advisable that parents exercise a lot of caution and responsibility while drinking to avoid projecting an image that will definitely interfere with their children’s perceptions of alcohol and alcoholism.
Being an international student, I admit that there is a huge difference between home and oversees cultures which also influenced my writing. In oversees situation, the way of writing is drastically affected and challenged. Diverse students are highly disoriented in many ways, and I felt that there is nothing wrong particularly with expressing their feelings (VanderMey, Meyer, Rys, & Sebranek, 2014).
In my case, everything was clear and straight to the point. There was not assumption as I had previously worked with the local audience on various matters. I managed to deal with the issue of cultural difference through the use of local languages and also used simple words to avoid the likelihood of messing up or using terms that do not fall within the context or discussion.
In my case, I wrote for an audience that highly value words, they care less about nonverbal expressions. With this; I had to make the message as simple as possible to make the message very simple so as to avoid questions and doubts.
In addition, I made a special effort to make use of a language that is not biased, but inclusive. This was to ensure that my message does not in anyway divide my audience unnecessarily. Moreover, I was cautious not to inadvertently contribute to gender discrimination. For instance, when talking about the issue of course selection, I made the message very general. In most cases I only used the word students and not boys and girls or men and women.
In the case parents to children with drinking problems, I also was very sensitive not approach the subject on single parenthood lines, or divorced parents. I just made the message as general as possible. In fact, as it will be seen later, when developing an understanding of what was learned, I formed group discussions where some of these sensitive things were discussed before writing for my audience.
Throughout the lives of humans, knowledge is crucial as it is something that can be obtained from the thinking process particularly during education as well as experience by means of creative and critical thinking.
In this case, my definition of critical thinking was grasping not just the context, but also analyzing it deeply upon comprehending it (VanderMey, Meyer, Rys, & Sebranek, 2014). This generally requires imagination in order to make sure something new has been generated from the fundamental tools of learning.
As social sciences, the essays that I wrote about fall within an area of knowledge require critical thinking. In the essay titled, investigating the Main Concerns for Students in the Field of Business Administration, the source of information stemmed from reviewing scholarly works and more especially from personal experiences. In terms of personal experiences or reflection, I mostly considered the goals or objectives of higher learning institutions.
In this case, I reflected on what students should come away with from particularly from their learning institution, what citizens should actually know and also be able to do in terms of helping students to choose or select their careers appropriately. Generally, as a result of this reflection, I settled on a few things regarding what valued above everything else.
I also used interviews with the final year students to gain more insights in the way higher learning institutions provide students with the leeway to select courses and customize their studies based on their future job requirements. What emerged from the interviews was that universities usually come up with their own rules on the mandatory units to cover per semester. The knowledge drawn from this exposition, shows that the program puts much emphasis on management, leadership, as well as strategy formulation and implementation.
According to the interviewee, the knowledge and skills accumulated upon exposing students to these courses provide an enabling environment for graduates to provide the needed leadership and management capacities to run contemporary organizations (VanderMey, Meyer, Rys, & Sebranek, 2014).
Personal observations of part-time students in this field reveals that most of them are indeed taking refresher courses in leadership and management to keep up with the current trends and reinforce their productivity within work contexts.
In the essay titled, parental exposure and underage drinking, most insights stemmed from the literature review. Mostly the literature review involved two sources: Jackson, Ennet, Dickinson & Bowlingm (2013); Haugland (2003); Waddock & Lozano (2013) and Edmunds, Bernstein, Glennie, Willse, Arshavsky, Unlu, F…Dallas (2010).
It is majorly from these sources that I learned that, parental exposure is used to imply the behaviors and actions that the youth are exposed to when their parents engage in drinking sprees for whatever reasons. It also emerged that some parents are generally keen on taking their children to social gatherings and family parties, where alcohol is served along other enticements.
From the same context, it also emerged that other parents take pride in taking their children to recreational facilities over the weekends to enjoy themselves, while the guardians consume alcohol in the guise of relaxing after a long and difficult week.
Indeed, there may be nothing wrong in taking the youth to social gatherings and recreational facilities as has been the tradition in most American families. However, the behaviors and actions that follow after parents take alcohol in such events make a substantial impact on youth decisions to drink.
I was also informed through scientific research that alcohol adversely affects some important cognitive functions, including the ability to make the right decisions. In this essay, it emerged that a good number of parents who take alcohol find themselves in a situation whereby they may be unable to make the right decisions in front of their children, while others go to the point of abusing the children or demonstrating antisocial behavior.
Basically, this is a vital area of concern as from the information gained behaviors may have some additional social ramifications on kids other than exposing them to underage drinking (VanderMey, Meyer, Rys, & Sebranek, 2014).
Through research it also emerged that children from alcoholic parents are more likely to demonstrate aggression in school than those in the general population. It is therefore of critical importance for parents to demonstrate leadership and responsibility to their children in spite of the fact that they engage in alcohol consumption.
From research it also emerged that alcohol-dependent parents must be encouraged to seek help at the earliest possible opportunity to avoid a scenario that would easily compromise the social and psychological development of their children.
In general, there are about two types of knowledge that guided my writing: Tacit and Information Professionals Knowledge. These kinds of knowledge as previously have been indicated stems from personal knowledge. In this case, having worked with different organizations I had some experience and experience particularly with regard to organizational management.
Further, other people with vast experience and expertise that I came across were my most important information resources. This is based on the fact that most of these organizations offered access to published sources. Information professionals, on the other hand, are a source of information and knowledge that was critical to my writing.
This is based on the fact that such people are not only skilled at selecting as well as searching sources of information, they also are well acquainted with the expertise to analyze and articulate needs of information, evaluation of the quality or the kind of information required.
On most occasions, this knowledge is known to their relevant organization or a time concealed. As it is their main responsibility, by sharing this information with me, they were rendering the value of their know-how by proactively sharing with me where suitable
I must admit that some assistance with regard to accessing information from professionals introduced me in different ways that are highly integrated with the activities of users.
For instance, when looking for information online, information professionals helped me to pre-select different information sources in order enhance the quality of the searches employed. I also made use of the corporate libraries. In this case, the experience of corporate libraries really helped in getting the best advice to give both students in colleges and parents whose children indulge in alcoholism.
In term of cultural knowledge, the culture of higher learning institutions and societies in general, helped in designing my writing in away that does not offend morality. This is based on the fact that it consisted of values and the beliefs it generally clings onto. In this case, each student or parent thinks that what is happens is true as it has been practiced over time and no one has ever complained about.
In my case, these beliefs obtained from their cultures formed the criteria not just for judging and choosing alternatives; it also formed the criteria for evaluating my writing in different perspectives relating to my audience.
In this way, I used the cultural knowledge to specifically answer different questions regarding the way students end up selecting subjects or being allocated the courses they did not take in the first place. It also helped me in coming up with the kind of knowledge that would be pursued in writing for local audience.
Understanding Knowledge developed
I formed group discussions where we interrogated all the materials learned. Since I was dealing with a diverse audience, I selected groups that are diverse and varied the roles for each group. In the case of children with drinking problems I included men and women just to understand the contributing factors to the issue.
Under this, aspects such as multiracial families, single-parent families, and adopted families were discussed. To some level, I had to involve supportive administrators, teachers, and members of staff to help explicate the issue in real life experience.
In general, it is evident that the choice of my audience as well as the choice of information sources affected my writing significantly. For instance, whilst I borrowed a lot of information from research working a good proportion of my writing stemmed from personal experiences.
My writing was also not judgmental but advisory in nature. Because when writing from multicultural point of view, it is good to be sensitive to what the audience may say or even react. Writing advisory messages was informed by the fact that my audience is people who have had some problems or challenges and wanted to be informed on the way forward.
Edmunds, J.A., Bernstein, L., Glennie, E., Willse, J., Arshavsky, N., Unlu, F…Dallas, A. (2010). Preparing students for college: The implementation and impact of the early college high school model. Peabody Journal of Education, 85(3), 348-364.
Haugland, B.S.M. (2003). Paternal alcohol abuse: Relationship between child adjustment, parental characteristics, and family functioning. Child Psychology & Human Development, 34(2), 127-146.
Jackson, C., Ennet, S., Dickinson, D., & Bowling, J. (2013). Attributes that differentiate children who sip alcohol from abstinent peers. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 42(11), 1687-1695.
VanderMey, R., Meyer, V., Rys, J., & Sebranek, P. (2014). The College Writer: A Guide to Thinking, Writing, and Researching. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
Waddock, S., & Lozano, J. (2013). Developing more holistic management education: Lessons learned from two programs. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 12(2), 265-284.