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2.1 Analyzing audience and its relationship to the purpose of an argument

3 min readโ€ขjanuary 27, 2023

Sahithi Morla

Sahithi Morla


AP English Languageย โœ๐Ÿฝ

224ย resources
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Welcome to Topic 2.1! In this guide, we will analyze the audience and its relationship to the purpose of an argument.ย 

Words to Remember

The audience refers to the group of people for whom a piece of writing is intended. Identifying and analyzing the audience is an important aspect of the course since it helps you understand how a writer's purpose and style are shaped by the intended readers. This includes analyzing the intended audience's background, values, and expectations, as well as evaluating how effectively the writer addresses them.ย 
The purpose refers to the specific intention or objective that the author had in mind when creating the work. It can vary depending on the context in which it is used. Understanding the purpose is essential to analyzing and interpreting a text's central idea. Additionally, you can notice how the purpose is conveyed through literary and rhetorical devices.

How to Analyze Audience

There are several ways to analyze audience:
  1. Identify the intended audience: Determine who the writer is trying to reach and what their background, values, and expectations may be.
  2. Evaluate the writer's tone and style: Consider how the writer's tone and style are tailored to their intended audience. For example, a formal tone and style may be used to address a scholarly audience, while a more casual tone and style may be used to reach a general audience.
  3. Analyze the language and vocabulary used: Look at the words and phrases used in the text and consider how they might be understood by the intended audience.
  4. Consider the context of the piece: Think about the historical and cultural context in which the piece was written and how that might have influenced the intended audience.
  5. Evaluate the effectiveness of the writer's appeal: Consider how well the writer has addressed the intended audience and whether their message is likely to be received and understood by them.
It's important to keep in mind that analyzing the audience is a crucial part of any writing process. When you write, consider who your audience is and how you can revise your work to address them effectively.

Relationship between the Audience and Purpose in an Argument

In AP English Language and Composition, the relationship between audience and purpose is a critical one. The audience is the group of people that the writer is trying to reach and persuade, while the purpose is to present a persuasive argument that will be received and understood by that audience.
The audience and purpose are closely related in several ways:
  1. The writer must consider the background, values, and expectations of their intended audience when determining the purpose of their argument. This will help the writer to choose the most effective tone, style, and language to use to achieve the purpose.
  2. The writer must use evidence and reasoning that will be persuasive and meaningful to the intended audience. This means that the writer needs to be familiar with the audience's knowledge and understanding of the topic and provide evidence that will appeal to them, to achieve the purpose.
  3. The writer must anticipate and address counterarguments that the audience may have, this will also help to achieve the purpose.
  4. The writer must consider the context of the piece and how that might influence the audience's understanding and acceptance of the argument.
In other words, the audience is the target of the writer's argument and the purpose is to communicate and persuade that audience. The writer must understand the audience and tailor their argument to be most effective for that audience, in order to achieve the purpose.
Browse Study Guides By Unit
๐Ÿค”Exam Skills
๐Ÿฅ‡Unit 1 โ€“ Claims, Reasoning, & Evidence
๐Ÿ—‚๏ธUnit 2 โ€“ Organizing Information for a Specific Audience
๐Ÿ‘€Unit 3 โ€“ Perspectives & How Arguments Relate
๐Ÿ”šUnit 4 โ€“ How writers develop arguments, intros, & conclusions
๐ŸŽ€Unit 5 โ€“ How a writer brings all parts of an argument together
๐Ÿ‘ฅUnit 6 โ€“ Position, Perspective, & Bias
๐ŸฅŠUnit 7 โ€“ Successful & Unsuccessful Arguments
๐Ÿ˜ŽUnit 8 โ€“ Stylistic Choices
๐Ÿ˜ˆUnit 9 โ€“ Developing a Complex Argument
๐Ÿ“šStudy Tools

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