Writing for a Mixed Audience
Often a document will be read by readers with different levels of expertise.
Computer documentation, for instance, may be written for experts
who are familiar with all the hardware and software processes involved,
technicians who will install and support the application,
a manager who may be deciding whether or not
to purchase the software, and laypersons who
may occasionally use it.
Strategies for Writing to Mixed Audiences
- If appropriate, create separate documents for each audience
- Use an executive summary to present the gist of your document in understandable
- If many of your readers will not be experts or technicians, place all
lengthy technical discussion in appendixes and refer to them in the main
- Segment the document into sections so that different audiences can
read different parts.
- Include in the front matter or introduction a short discussion of what
sections are appropriate to each type of reader
and for what purposes.
- Explain all technical terms thoroughly in any section that may be read
by a lay reader.
- Include an exhaustive glossary section explaining all technical terms
in either the front matter or the end matter.
See Document Density.
## Writing for Mixed Audiences ##
[ Home | Table of Contents
| Writing Timeline | Index
| Help | Credits]