This course focuses on creating a variety of documents that are used in the professional workplace. In order to

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This course focuses on creating a variety of documents that are used in the professional workplace.  In order to explore that fully, we will be selecting a topic and then focusing on it throughout the term.  Your topic must be a problem in the workplace, your community or your school (Pick one area).  It must fit the following criteria:

  • It must be real.
  • It must be solvable.
  • It must have depth.
  • It must require research.

Here are some examples of possible topics:

  • Adding on-site childcare.
  • Tuition discounts
  • Changing the speed limit on a particular road.
  • Upgrading company technology.
  • Creating a student lounge.
  • Creating a community garden.

Once you have selected your topic, you will then brainstorm possible audiences you will need to communicate with in order to effectively solve this problem. Read this document to learn more about audience analysis. Use the attached chart to profile your audience.  You must include a fully developed paragraph at the top describing your problem. Please submit both your topic selection description and the reader analysis chart in one document.Here is a video that provides further information regarding the Week 1 assignment including an example of a completed Reader Analysis Chart. This course focuses on creating a variety of documents that are used in the professional workplace. In order to
Audience Analysis: Building Information About Your Readers Brought to you by the Purdue Online Writing Lab ( By H. Allen Brizee and Kety A. Schmaling “Audience Analysis: Building Information About Your Readers” discusses your communication’s complex audience and provides key questions you can ask to determine readers’ needs, values, and attitudes. This section also provides useful charts to help you with your audience analysis. Audience Analysis Overview In order to compose persuasive, user-centered communication, you should gather as much information as possible about the people reading your document. Your audience may consist of different people who may have different needs and expectations. In other words, you may have a complex audience in all the stages of your document’s lifecycle—the development stage, the reading stage, and the action stage: Development Stage • Primary author (you) • Secondary author (a technical expert within your organization) • Secondary author (a budget expert within your organization) • Gatekeeper (your supervisor) Reading Stage • Primary audience (decision maker, primary point of contact, project lead, etc.) • Secondary audience (technical expert within audience’s organization) • Shadow audience (others who may read your communication) Action Stage • Stakeholders (people who may read your communication, but more importantly, those who will be affected by the decisions based on the information you provide) Keep in mind that documents may not go through a clear, three-step process. Instead, the lifecycle of your communication may consist of overlapping stages of evolution. User-centered writing calls for close cooperation between those who are composing the documents, those who will read and act upon the documents, and those who will be affected by the actions. Section 2: Development Stage Audience Analysis A helpful way of gathering information about your readers is to conduct an audience analysis. Depending on the purpose and needs of your documents, you may perform a brief audience profile or an in-depth audience analysis (or something in between). You may expand or contract the following process to match your situation, but remember that the more you know about your potential readers, the more persuasive and user-centered your documents may be. Some key questions (adapted from Johnson-Sheehan’s Technical Communication Today) to ask about your readers are: • Who are they? • What do they need? • Where will they be reading? • When will they be reading? • Why will they be reading? • How will they be reading? Meeting frequently (in person and/or virtually) with members of your audience to discuss their needs and expectations will also help you compose your documents. The following reader analysis chart (adapted from Johnson-Sheehan) is effective for investigating your audience: Readers Needs Values Attitudes Gatekeeper Primary Secondary Shadow How readers will use your documents is also important. This context analysis chart (adapted from Johnson-Sheehan) is effective for determining how your audience will use your documents: Physical Context Economic Context Political Context Ethical Context Primary Readers Readers’ Company Readers’ Industry In addition, determining where your audience sits in their organization may help you understand readers’ specific needs. Drawing a chart of your communication’s lifecycle will help you gather this information about your audience. The following graphic illustrates the development stage where you might be authoring a document with a team of people in your organization: _____ Development Stage Section 3: Reading and Action Stages The following graphics illustrate the reading stage where your communication might be read by a number of people including your primary audience, secondary audience, and shadow readers: _____ Reading Stage (General) _____ Reading Stage (Detailed) The following graphic illustrates the action stage where your communication’s information might lead to decisions, which in turn, can lead to action that influences the lives of your stakeholders. In a user-centered writing process, decision makers and stakeholders will provide feedback to help you further revise your communication: _____ Action Stage References Anderson, Paul V. Technical Communication: A Reader-Centered Approach. 6 th ed. Boston: Thomson-Wadsworth, 2007. Johnson-Sheehan, Richard. Technical Communication Today. New York: Pearson-Longman, 2005. This course focuses on creating a variety of documents that are used in the professional workplace. In order to
Transcript for Video: Topic Selection and Reader Analysis This presentation reinforces some of the information in the Week 1 lecture and gives an example of a completed reader analysis chart. Preparation for the week 1: Read the Assignment Directions View the Presentations Read the textbook Download and use the audience analysis template Choose a topic that is sustainable for the reports Topic Selection: Identify a problem/issue in your workplace, community, or school that is real and is solvable. The topic must require some research to solve. Sources are used in this course. Crediting and using sources is important. Keep in mind that the problem must be not be too broad or too narrow. Example of a topic that is too broad: Free health care for all Americans. That is not an issue that can be solved in your workplace, community or academic setting. Too narrow: The HR department needs a new printer. Examples of problems/issues that would be suitable topics: Daycare at work Change in work schedule (5 day vs. 4-day work week) Community issue: safety, roads, crime, library Problem in a school setting – remote learning issues Technology issues Identify your audience. Who are you writing to? Once you have your problem identified; then decide who you will be writing to when you seek a solution. The textbook discusses Audience and Purpose in Chapter 2. You will complete the audience analysis for week 1. There is a template to download and complete in the assignment instructions. There are four reader types to identify. READER TYPE ROLE PRIMARY READER Decision-maker who will approve the solution to your problem CEO. Superintendent, Commander. Chair of HOA Board SECONDARY READER Advisory to the primary reader (has special knowledge) HR Director. CFO, IT Analyst TERTIARY Will be affected by the solution, but not directly involved in the decision Front line employees. community members GATEKEEPER (usually a supervisor) Reviews information before it goes to the primary reader. Example of a Completed Reader Analysis Chart In this sample chart: The Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, and Gatekeeper readers are specifically identified (CEO, CFO, Employees, Supervisor) The needs for each reader are identified. All readers need information; what information do they need to function in their role? The roles for readers are identified – what is the responsibility of each reader? Reader attitudes are identified. Attitudes are thoughts or feelings (emotions) regarding the problem/issue you have selected. Attitudes are expressed with adjectives: cautious, skeptical, optimistic, detail-oriented, supportive, resistant, excited. Questions: Contact me: Danna Teicheira, [email protected], 208-514-5896 References listing Johnson-Sheehan, R. (2018) Technical Communication Today (6th ed.) New York, NY: Pearson Education, Inc. Smith-Worthington, D., & Jefferson, S. (2018). Technical writing for success (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage. ISBN: 9780357169926 This course focuses on creating a variety of documents that are used in the professional workplace. In order to
READER ANALYSIS Describe the problem you will be addressing and how the various audiences you list in the chart below will play a role in solving it. Reader Analysis Chart: list a specific audience for each row and then fill in each column as it relates to the problem you are addressing Audience Needs (What do they need in regards to this situation?) Role (What role will they play in solving the problem?) Attitudes (What is their attitude in regards to this situation and a potential solution?) (Primary) (Secondary) (Tertiary) (Gatekeepers)

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