Printed from the Technical Editor's Eyrie,

Audience and document analysis

Before you begin editing a document, try to find out as much as you can about the audience for the document and purpose of the document.

Some points to consider:

What type of document is it?

Some possibilities (add your own to the list):

Why was it written?

Some possibilities (add your own to the list):

Who are the audience?

Some possibilities (add your own to the list):

Why will they read this document?

Readers may be interested, hostile or indifferent about the document. Here are some reasons they might read it:

What does the audience need to learn from this document?

Some possibilities:

Under what conditions will the audience read this document?

For example, are the audience reading it:

If it's an online document, what equipment or software do they have that might influence how they read and what they can see in the document? For example:

What level of education and English reading ability does the audience have?

Some questions to ask:

If your audience is small, their knowledge levels may be similar. If your audience is large, you can expect a greater diversity.