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CAAMP-PADL Source Evaluation: Audience


Page header stating audience


Did you know that in the United States, newspapers, magazines, doctor's office forms, and other printed resources can be evaluated based on a readability score? Readability scores provide an estimated reading level for the material. For example, an important government update might be written at a 5th grade reading level, to ensure that people of all reading levels and abilities can engage with the statement. Meanwhile, a scholarly peer-reviewed article might be written at a 12th grade reading level, because this work is written for research experts. Reading level is one example of many indicators that can be used to establish a work's intended audience

Think of audience as the group of people whom the work is intended to reach. 

As we learned in Material Type, different publication types have various goals, and each publication also has its own audience

If you are writing an academic paper, you should consult resources that are scholarly in nature. If you are working on a creative project that incorporates multiple viewpoints, then you might consult blog posts, magazines, blogs, or other resources. The key is to choose materials that have an audience that aligns with your specific goals. 

Guiding Questions

  • Who is the work's intended audience or readership? 
    • Does the indented audience align with your project's specifications and your learning goals? 
  • Is the work's level of scholarship appropriate for your project? 
    • Academic writing can be challenging to read, even for seasoned researchers! It is okay to read and re-read an article for deeper understanding. Want some extra reading and notetaking advice? Check out this article here

The graphic below highlights some common resources and their audiences: