How to Improve Word Choice and Targeting Your Intended Audience
As an author, it is good practice to take care when choosing words. Due to the impact word choice has on tone and style, the author must use the specific words that will precisely express their ideas. When choosing the correct words, it is also important to note that authors must think about their target audiences, and how word choices can impact said audience.
If you use the word “exultant” versus “happy”, it’s going to give a different tone than simply using “happy”. Exultant says it’s so much more than that and it’s going to give a loftier tone to your piece. Style? Same way. If the author is using flowery wording, if it’s these lovely, flowing sentences versus short wording, choppy little sentences, it’s going to give a different flow to the writing and a different style.
The author is going to choose their wording very carefully. Another thing an author is going to consider when writing is their intended audience. They may write the same story differently for different audiences. There are lots of different audience groups to consider. For instance: Children, adults, teenagers, men, women, parents, and the list could go on and on for the type of audience groups that an author could target.
Let’s think about if an author is writing a story. They may write a story differently, leaving out some disturbing or provocative parts, if they’re writing for children, where they would put in those same parts of their writing for adults. If they’re writing for teenagers, maybe they leave some of that in and keep some of it out. If an advertising agency was writing an ad for deodorant, they might write it differently if they were going to target men versus if they were going to target women.
And, same thing, if you were targeting parents in general as an advertising agency, you’re going to talk to them differently than you would, say, people in their early 20’s or teens that aren’t interested in kids or diapers or formula or any of the things that are being advertised toward parents in general. Whatever authors are writing, they’re going to consider their intended audience very carefully and make sure they’re writing to most accurately entertain or reach out to that audience.
Word choice and intended audience affect a text’s content, style, and tone. We discussed style and tone already. They are affected by word choice, and they can also be affected by the author’s audience. If you’re talking to a child, your tone may change, your style is going to have to change, your writing can’t be as high of a level as it would be if you were talking to adults or even teenagers, and the content is going to vary based on your audience, because you’re going to leave some details out if they’re too much for a child to handle or something that a man or a parent might not be interested in versus something that a teenager or a woman would be interested in.
Whenever you’re writing, I want you to consider your word choice and intended audience, because you need to write just as any other author would write, considering your words carefully. Make sure you choose them with a purpose, you’re writing and choosing words that are going to most clearly represent what your message is, and you’re thinking of your audience. Who is most likely to read your paper?