In The Craft of Research “Engaging Sources” I found the part about creating a role for the reader and audience to be an interesting concept. It is something I never thought about too much when writing in the past. In this reading it explains that it is not just the reader that judges the writer, but “a thoughtful writer has in advanced also judged her readers, by imagining who they are, what they are like, what they know, what they need and want”. Every writer creates a role for its readers because it is something that is inevitable. While it is unavoidable, the writer is still left with freedom because, it is up to authors in deciding what role they choose for the audience and whom they are trying to target. Yet, the reading also stresses the importance of the burden on the writer. If the author miscasts his/her audience then he or she will ultimately loose the audience and their willingness to read. In order to avoid this from happening, it is our job as the researcher and writer to establish a relationship with the reader that will make them want to continue to read. I found it to be most intriguing that this could be accomplished through the concept a “social contract” between the writer and the reader. As the writer, you must cast them in a role they are willing to accept, but at the same time you have to create a role for yourself that matches. If you do not do this then you are breaking the contract between the two of you and will also loose the reader’s attention.
Personally, when I write I do acknowledge the type of audience I am writing for, but I have never thought about the role I have created for them. Yet, according to this reading it is inevitable that I have established a role in my writing for my readers. However, I find this idea of the social contract between me and the reader to be something that could be helpful to keep in mind especially for the re-purposing assignment. I think it would also be interesting to reread some old writing of mine and look at the audience I was targeting and to see if I actually upheld my part of the social contract.