By: Joe Bateman Jr.
A well written essay involves more than just a pen and paper to get you started, you need a writing process. Though what you are writing about or to may change the structure there is a process you can follow to write a good essay. The most important step would be to identify your audience, know who will be reading your paper and start planning it to cater to them. After you identify your audience, the next step seems fairly simple but can be the hardest; writing the essay. After you write the essay it will most likely be a little crude, so it is important to read over your paper again and fine tuning your message out of it. In fact all of the steps I have listed in this opening paragraph for you are the same exact steps I have taken to write this paper you hold now.
As I have previously stated, knowing the audience isn’t always as simple as knowing the group of people you are writing for. Everyone is their own person; even in groups of doctors some are old and have 30 years experience while some are fresh out of medical school. So just because you write a letter to doctors you cannot assume that all of their knowledge is 100% the same. Linda Flower gives 3 good criteria to take into account when scoping out your audience, knowledge, needs, and attitude. Don’t assume your audience knows everything you are going to talk about; you need to be able meet their needs and take any big ideas or lingo you use and bring it to their level. You also need to remember their attitude; certain words make people think a certain way. The word tropical for instance probably brings thoughts of palm trees, fruit drinks, and a beach to mind. Some people will view this as vacation while others will have distaste for sand and sunburn that may follow. Using these words may help you but you could also end up turning off readers so you should use them sparingly.
Now that you know what you are writing about and who you are writing for...