Your teachers may specify an audience that you are supposed to keep in mind when writing a paper. Most of us in daily life are not writing for a particular person or audience, but rather for someone called "the general reader." The general reader is someone, anyone, who possesses an average intelligence and has a fairly sound general education. This general reader is interested in the events of the day and in the world as a whole. He or she has a good measure of sympathy for humankind, appreciates the happy as well as the unhappy accidents of life. This reader also is blessed with a good sense of humor and the ability to listen to others; to writers like you, in fact. Keep the general reader in mind when you write.
In an effort to introduce this strategy into the classroom, the College Board created a one-day professional development workshop for language arts teachers in grades 6–12. Pre-AP: Strategies in English—Writing Tactics Using SOAPSTone addresses three types of writing: narrative, persuasive, and analytical, using material in a sequence that reflects the degree of difficulty in thinking and composition associated with each. The general format of this workshop is first to take participants through the same process students would use in analyzing examples of texts by professional writers and then in discovering and discussing the elements peculiar to each type.
The Advanced Placement English Language and Composition course teaches students to write with richness and complexity in order to communicate clearly with advanced readers. The essays written in this course are to be less formulaic and more engaging to the reader. The focus is on the essay’s content and purpose as well as the intended reader. The students also need to be able to use a variety of research materials in their writing and be able to synthesize these various sources in an effective matter. Sources need to be cited in a critical manner and students must evaluate the legitimacy and purpose of the source.