Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Addressing Audience Needs
Right now you all are at work on your "Document in Field" assignment, which requires that you "translate" the technical language of an article from your field into language accessible to a reader who does not possess the field's specialized vocabulary. I want you to answer in your comments here one of the following questions: a) Why do we think that it is such a special skill to be able to do such "translation"? Shouldn't all technical specialists be able to make their work relevant to a member of the lay public? b) Your book covers some of the pieces of information you need to know about your audience before you can effectively present technical information to them. In this project (this is a trick question), what relevant information do you know about your audience? c) I want you to think about the topic covered in the article you chose. Is it, in fact, important for the "average person" to understand the subject-matter? How is it relevant? d) In what sort of work-place situation is it vital that you be able to perform just the kinds of "translations" of technical information that you're working on right now? Can you think of some sample instances?