Cover Page ofThe Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing
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Section 1.4

Audience

Write to your audience. People read technical documents for different reasons, and readers havevarying levels of technical expertise. To be effective, technical writing must target its audience oraudiences.

Target your audience by identifying your audience type and level ofexpertise, your audience's purpose in using the document, andyour audience's attitude toward both you and the content of yourdocument. These considerations will influence specific features of the document, includingorganization, introductions, equations and mathematical models, graphics, technical terms, andlevel of detail.

These features, especially the level of detail, contribute to the density of the document, the rate at which information is presented tothe reader.

See Document Density for an explanation of how these features varyfor different audience types to identify the expertise and purposeof different types of readers.

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