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Writing for Readers: The Primacy of Audience in Composing


by Donald L. Rubin 1998

While writers usually keep thoughts like the above to themselves, they are nonetheless driven by audience considerations. I want to make a very strong claim about the preeminence of audience in composing: writing is at its essence a social act, a rhetorical act, an act of communication, and thus affecting an audience in one way or another is the very point of writing. Audience considerations can affect those other aspects of writing typically included in models of composing, such as retrieving prior knowledge about subject matter, inventing or discovering new content, and applying knowledge of discourse patterns and conventions.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 97, No. 2.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 99 Number 6, 1998, p. 53-73
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18732, Date Accessed: 9/21/2017 3:23:12 PM

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About the Author
  • Donald Rubin
    University of Georgia
    E-mail Author
    DONALD L. RUBIN is Professor in the Department of Speech Communication and the Department of Language Education at the University of Georgia.
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