After you have read the required texts and viewed the videos for this week’s module on Audience and Context in professional writing, select your favorite website and one other website to analyze. Your second website should be completely opposite in tone and content from your favorite site.
The purpose of this assignment is for you to demonstrate your understanding of audience characteristics and how words and images affect the way messages are conveyed and received.
Consider each site as the “document” under discussion and answer the list of questions under “Focusing on Audience” and “Focusing on Purpose” sections on the handout Rhetorical Analysis for Professional Documents.
Also, use the “AUDIENCE Analysis Form” to assist in your analysis.
Your answers are your brainstorming from which you will write two audience profiles—one for each website.
As you think about answers to those questions, examine any special characteristics or background users may have with the website’s product or service, as well as any legal concerns that could arise from the website’s use. Might previous users or consumers or even legal agencies visit the site looking to gather information for, say, copyright infringement or misrepresentation?
Consider cross-cultural implications and technical knowledge that the designers had to be aware of when they constructed this site.
What about any special tasks, background, or attitudes?—how do they affect the visual representations or information included?
In addition to the primary and secondary audiences, who else might visit the site?
Competitors? Suppliers or manufacturers? Trendsetters or influencers? If yours is a sports site, might sponsors or coaches or agents visit the site? Advertisers? Many possibilities exist for users and visitors to the site, so challenge yourself to consider audiences beyond the obvious and initial visitor or consumer.
Once you have thoroughly answered all these questions and believe that you have a good idea of the ideal user and the additional users for the websites, use your responses to write a set of substantive audience profiles in paragraph form: one for each site.
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