Before you begin to write your research paper, you should think about your audience. Your audience should have an impact on your writing. You should think about audience because, if you want to be effective, you must consider audience needs and expectations. It’s important to remember audience affects both what and how you write.
Most research paper assignments will be written with an academic audience in mind. Writing for an academic audience (your professors and peers) is one of the most difficult writing tasks because college students and faculty make up a very diverse group. It can be difficult for student writers to see outside their own experiences and to think about how other people might react to their messages.
But this kind of rhetorical thinking is necessary to effective writing. Good writers try to see their writing through the eyes of their audience. This, of course, requires a lot of flexibility as a writer, but the rewards for such thinking are great when you have a diverse group of readers interested in and, perhaps, persuaded by your writing.