Your audience consists of the all the people who will read your document. Students often assume that their audience is their professor and that they don't have to think about audience. These are often incorrect assumptions. Effective writers have a clear idea about their intended audience. Audience can affect the writer's word choice, sources, structure, citations, and format.

"If absolutes about writing exist, this is definitely one: audience analysis determines everything about a piece of writing, from what you say to how you say it. Believe it: There are no rules; the audience rules."
                                         —from a defunct UMUC (now UMGC) webpage

Audience matters: This UNC Chapel Hill Writing Center page offers tips on identifying and writing for an audience beyond your professor.

Identifying and adapting to different audiences: It's all here. Click through the menu on this Colorado State University Writing Studio page for help in evaluating and writing for different audiences.

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