Skip to Main Content
Online Library
NAU Logo

Writing Center

Resources to help students with both reading and writing skills in their courses..

Reading for Writing Skills Guide

  1. Do the Learning Activities from the Learning Plan before starting the Assignment or Discussion. 

  2. Find the questions you need to answer or tasks you need to complete. Locate "keywords" in the instructions.

  3. Look for instructions for the final product: number of pages; citations; due date; and format.
  4. If you don't understand how to do the discussion or assignment after completing steps 1-3, contact your instructor.

Understanding Your Instructor's Prompt (Keywords) from George Mason University.

Who is your audience? 

 Your audience is the people who will read and respond to your writing.                        

  • For discussion posts, your actual audience is your instructor and your classmates. 

  • For research papersit often is your instructor or a peer-reviewer in your class.  We advise checking your instructions and/or with your instructor who your intended audience is.

  • For resumes, it will be a potential employer. 

  • For thank you notes, it may be your aunt or grandfather.  

  • Also think of other, hypothetical readers you want to inform, persuade, or entertain!      

It is important to identify your audience because:

    1. You can determine how much or how little you need to say about the topic. 

      2. You will know what they expect and want from your writing.

      3. You can decide the tone and type of language, or "style," you will use.

When you use this information, your writing will have the greatest effect on your reader. 

Purdue Online Writing Lab. (2013, June 10). Audience: Introduction and overview [Video]. Retrieved

Reinking, J.A. & von der Osten, R. (2014). Strategies for successful writing: A rhetoric, research guide, reader, and
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Teaching Without Frills. (2018, November 6). How to write for your audience [Video]. Retrieved 

Global site tag: