In the piece titled Audience Addressed/Audience Invoked, Lisa Ede and Andrea Lunsford address two different perspectives about audience. The authors split the perspectives as audience addressed and audience invoked. At the beginning of the “Audience Addressed” section, Ede and Lunsford refer to other authors (Fred Pfizer and Joanne Petrik) who claim “students, like all writers, must fictionalize their audience” (Ede at al 156). Although Ede and Lunsford go onto to discuss flaws in the view of the audience addressed, I believe that this quote is very important. I find this quote significant because I have always been taught to imagine who my audience is; teachers have always encouraged me to imagine my audience as well as I can so that I can effectively convey my argument. As I construct my senior seminar project, I will have to do this so that I develop a clear, convincing thesis.
Now this idea of the audience’s role is definitely important, but like the authors state, there are flaws to this perspective so it’s important to keep that in mind. The audience definitely plays an important, but so does the writer. The writer might be writing about a certain topic with a particular topic in mind, but that doesn’t mean the audience has complete power; Ede and Lunsford claim that the model created by Mitchell and Taylor fails “to recognize the equally essential role writers play throughout the composing process not only as creators but also as readers of their own writing” (Ede at al 158). A writer may create a piece of writing with the intention of an audience to read it, but they also play an important role when it comes to reading the piece. The authors refer to Susan Wall, who states that the author performs two roles: writer-as-reader and reader-as-writer. When the author acts as the reader-as-writer, an internal dialogue is sparked and “writers must rely in large part upon their own vision of the reader” (Ede at al 158).
In other words, the writer has a lot of power because they decide who their audience is and how they present information in their writing. I think this is important in terms of my senior seminar project because I am in charge of deciding what my topic is and how I present the information. I decide how to present each point, which medium to use (i.e. a research paper, a website, a short video), and what rhetorical methodology or communication tactics that I want to use. All of this influences who my audience will be and how I envision them. However I decide to format and present my project determines how I envision my audience.
Later in a different section of the text, Ede and Lunsford describe the perspective of audience invoked. When creating a project, it is important to envision your audience so you know how to present information and appeal to its members. The authors state that the author must “analyze and invent an audience” (Ede at al 163). While I develop my project, I must analyze who I’m essentially marketing my project towards. I need to understand the demographic; I need to know not only what they’re background is (i.e. religion, education, race, gender, ethnicity, etc.) but I also need to know how familiar they are with the information I’m presenting in my project. What I present and discuss in my project might relate to that demographic, but my thesis isn’t effective unless I address it in a way they understand.
Finally, in the piece Among the Audience, Lunsford and Ede present a model that is much better than what is depicted in the previous text. The model is known as the Rhetorical Triangle; what’s great about this model is that it depicts “the relationship among writer and message and medium (or media) [as] complex and full reciprocity” (Lunsford et al 9). This model demonstrates the complex relationship and how each part plays a crucial role. I think this is important for me to keep in mind as I create my senior seminar project because I need to remember that although my audience is very important, I also play a vital role in this project. Not only that, the model reminds me that media and context have a significant role in the development of my project as well as the final product.