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Before you start the writing process, you should discern your target audience. This is called a readership analysis. What the target audience is depends on the researcher's objectives. The target audience can be other researchers in the same field or university lecturers, or the research results can be meant for scientific use. On the other hand, the target audience can be the general public, people interested in practical applications for the research results, or people deciding on research funding.
Different target audiences must be addressed differently. Since research is often publicly funded, is usually reasonable to assume that information gained through the research will be publicized to others than experts of the field as well. What is central is taking the reader into account. You must keep in mind the reader's background and the background information s/he has in order to be able to decide what needs to be explained in more detail and what not.
• Sources must be listed carefully so that the reader can find them.
• Any terms used must be defined, unless they are well established in the field and unambiguous.
• Tables etc. must be explained in the body of the text as well.
• Any claims must be carefully justified, because the reader can make counterarguments (dialogical nature of the text).
• Scientific information is public, so the research methods used, experiments and the deduction process must be evident from the text (the reader must have the chance to follow the deduction and interpretation rules used).
• The style should be neutral.
• However, you should not be excessive in taking the reader into consideration: you should not belittle yourself or your work.
When writing for FELLOW RESEARCHERS and the SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY, background or terminology do not need to be explained very extensively, because these people work with similar problems and research methods However, this target audience expects the methods and results to be explained in great detail.
PEOPLE WORKING WITH PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS AND WHO KNOW THE BASICS OF THE FIELD are interested in the concrete and applicable data gained through the study. However, this information must be provided in a critical and well structured manner. The style is mainly professional.
SOCIETAL DECISION-MAKERS AND PEOPLE IN CHARGE OF RESEARCH FUNDING usually are not experts in the field, so texts meant for them must be clear and simplified, emphasizing the main results and the significance thereof. Grounds for possible suggestion must be brought up clearly.
When writing for LAYMEN INTERESTED IN THE FIELD AND THE RESEARCHER'S WORK, you must pay special attention to the selection of the contents of the paper and what expressions you are using. These readers are not familiar with the history and significance of the problems, nor the language of research. Scientific writing for laymen is called the popularization of science. Popularization conventions vary between different disciplines.
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