Friday, November 21, 2014

Writing Lessons for Students: Part One -- Pre-Writing Episode 5: Your Audience

Whenever Nardvark gets a new writing assignment, he feels like he's writing a personal letter to his teacher, because he knows that his teacher is the only person who will ever read it.

But if you think about the potential audience for anything you write, it will help you choose the best register and voice.

REGISTER = level of formality

Letters are a good place to think about register.  If you are writing a text message to your BFF, you will likely use the lowest possible register: 


Nardvark's text message to his alter-ego, the Nerdvark



Of course, if you are a nerd like Nerdvark, you will use a more formal register in your text messaging:


Nerdvark's text message is more formal.

A message to your mother on the fridge would be in a slightly more formal register:


Nardvark's fridge note


A thank-you letter that you're forced to write to Nana after every birthday and Christmas would be in a slightly more formal register:


Nardvark's letter to Gramma


A letter to a business or company would be of a high level of formality, because writing in more formal tone makes you sound educated and sophisticated, and is more likely to get you the attention you want from your audience.


Nard's letter to Krap Foods (written with the assistance of Nerdvark to achieve the appropriate register)


Whatever assignment your teacher gives you, consider who, in real life, would be reading it -- your audience -- so you can choose the best register to use.

Come back next time to learn more about VOICE.  Thanks for reading!