Analysis Of Howard Zinsser's 'Writing For An Audience'

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Who is the Reader? “Who is this elusive creature the reader?” Well as Zinsser puts it, “the reader is someone with an attention spam of about 30 seconds-a person assailed by other forces competing for attention.” (Zinsser, 99) With all the distraction in today’s society: TV, radio, and the internet, we as the writer need to be able to grab on to the attention of the reader like a cowboy on a bucking horse. How can we achieve this goal? What can we do or say to draw the reader in and cause them to continue reading our writing? Who’s ever approach we apply, we must include the reader in our writing process. They need to have a sense that we had them in mind when we were creating our works. In “Writing for an Audience”, Linda Flower states there are three areas a writer needs to consider when addressing their readers, “the reader’s knowledge about the topic, his or her attitude towards it and his or her personal or professional needs”. (Flowers, 88) Compared to Howard Zinsser in “Simplicity”, who believes American writing is cluttered. As a society we tend to use “meaningless jargon” (98) to fill up our pages, talking around what we truly want to say.…show more content…
With both these goals, we need to find out what their needs are and address them right away. We need to understand their attitude towards the topic, by looking into their background. Knowing the purpose of our writing will allow us to take the reader on a journey to a greater understanding. Otherwise we are truly writing for ourselves hoping we can get the attention of someone when we just have us in mind. Bibliography Flower, Linda “Writing for an Audience”. Language Awareness, Ed. Eschholz, Rosa and Clark. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s 2005 (88-90) Zinsser, William “Simplicity”. Language Awareness, Ed.Eschholz, Rosa and Clark. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s 2005

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