Look over the forum you have identified as a target for your next publication.
Remember that a forum can be a magazine, newspaper, bill board, radio
station, web page, blog, brochure, newsletter, etc., so some of these
questions may not apply to your forum.
Answer the following about your forum:
- Identify the forum by name and organizational affiliation.
- Is there an expressed editorial policy, philosophy, or expression
of belief? What purpose does the forum serve? Why does it exist?
- How large is the forum? Who are its members/readers? Its leaders (or
people it values)?
- What kind of people speak/write in this forum? What are their credentials?
Academic or professional background?
- Who are the most important figures in this forum?
- What are the characteristics of the assumed audience?
- What are the audience's needs assumed to be? To what use(s) is the
audience expected to put the information you will provide in your globally
- Why do people in this field write (to entertain, persuade, educate,
discuss, inform, present research findings, question earlier studies,
add to those earlier studies)?
- What are the beliefs, attitudes, values, prejudices of the addressed
- What might their education level be? How do you know this?
- What types of discourse does the forum admit (articles, reviews, speeches,
poems)? How long are these discourses (approximately)?
- What documentation form is used (for sources)? MLA, APA, Chicago,
- What specialized language is used (Jargon, technical terms, formal
or standard English, slang)?
- Do writers assume their readers will know certain things (like names
of people in the field, important events, works, movements)? how much
background information would you need to fully engage in a conversation
with these readers/writers?
- What stances do the writers take relative to the audience (describe
the relationship between writer and audience)? Why?
- What voice is used here (1st, 2nd, 3rd person)? Why?
- Is this article written in passive (an experiment was conducted) or
active voice (we conducted an experiment)? Why?
- Are there graphs, pictures, drop quotes, introductory summaries, short
biographies of the writers, end notes, footnotes, works cited pages?
- Is there anything else you will need to take into consideration as
you revise for this audience/forum?