Over the course of the Minor in Writing, I think I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing what needs to be done to draft right when I write it. When I wrote my first evolution essay draft, I knew that I needed to clarify my terminology, incorporate the introduction into the conclusion, and create a better connection between a few of the paragraphs at the end.
Just recently, I did a mini-assignment that was intended to help me decide if my draft had been suitable for four specific audience members of my choosing. One audience member is someone in my field who I look up to, another is a close peer in the minor, the third is a friend not in the minor, and the fourth is someone not in the minor or in my field of study. The mini-assignment would help me decide how to revise my draft to meet my audience members expectations.
Well, an evolution essay is primarily aimed at a writing audience (at least mine is). Though my “field” is neuroscience/pre-medical studies, my intended field in this essay is those who write and read. Why? Because I want this essay to be interesting! I want it to stand alone as a cool piece of writing.
With my current draft, three of the four (unnamed) audience members would be pleased. The only one how would be unpleased is the person in my “field” who I look up to. I have chosen this member to be English professor John Rubadeau. I love the guy. I think he’d find this draft boring, quite honestly. Aside from the introduction, my language is quite bland. He likes flowery, well-adorned language. John also loves humor. Again, my essay is lacking. There’s some there, but there could easily be more. Oh, and he’s also a huge fan of the Greek rhetorical circle (creating a cyclical connection of ideas throughout the essay). I know he’d be bummed that my draft doesn’t return to the ideas from the introduction—at least not explicitly.
Although I knew a few things I had to do in order to make my next draft better, this exercise helped me to realize that there are changes I should make that I was not originally considering. It also helped me to realize that my fictional audience would approve my use of “bullshit” in the essay; I wasn’t sure if I should keep it. It’s always fun when people don’t mind profanity.