Q. How do I figure out an author's intended audience?


Thank you for your question about how to determine an author's intended audience.

First, think about the author's purpose.  Is it to:

  • Inform,
  • Persuade, or
  • Entertain?

Then think about:

  • Who would be interested in this topic?
  • What is the author's tone (earnest, sarcastic)?
  • What is the meaning behind the message? What is the author trying to convey?
  • What is the author's view on the subject? Do they have a bias? What is it?

Answering these questions will help you understand what the author's purpose is and that will lead you to the intended audience.

Keep in mind that the intended audience could be:

  • A single individual (like in a personal communication)
  • A group of people (children for a children's book or chefs for a cooking article)
  • The general public (speech from the president) 

Authors usually have an intended audience in mind when they write.

You may want to check out this resource for more information: Determining an author's intended audience.

Thank you for using ASK US. Please contact your Campus Library/ARC if you need further assistance.



  • Last Updated Jun 11, 2018
  • Views 6191
  • Answered By Baker Librarians

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