Identify Your Audience/PEN/NPR
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WRITING USER-FRIENDLY DOCUMENTS


Identify Your Audience

[checkmark]Identify who is affected by a document and write to get their attention and answer their questions.

You have to grab your readers' attention if you want to get your ideas across. Let's face it, readers just want to know what applies to them. The best way to grab and hold their attention is to figure out who they are and what they want to know. Put yourself in their shoes. It will give you a new perspective.

Tell your readers why the material is important to them. Say, "If you want a research grant, here's what you have to do." Or, "If you want to mine Federal coal, here's what you should know." Or, "If you are planning a trip to Rwanda, read this first."

"Identify Your Audience In Letters"

Many times a document has more than one audience. You may be talking to exporters and importers, or coal miners and surface owners, or airlines and passengers. NEPA documents typically speak to both stakeholders and agency decisonmakers. Break your documents down into essential elements and determine which elements apply to each part of your audience. Then group the elements according to who is affected. If you are writing about research grants, first tell the professors what they have to do, then tell the university accounting department what it has to do.

Identify clearly who you are speaking to in each section. Don't make a reader go through material only to find out at the end that the section doesn't apply.

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Grant applicants must provide the following information:

(a) Prior experience in the area covered by the grant;
(b) Publications relevant to the area of the grant;
(c) Other grants held at the time of application;
(d) Name and address of the chief financial officer;
(e) Nature of in-kind match being provided;
(f) Approved overhead rate; and (g) Total proposed budget.

(a)  When you apply for a grant, you must send us:

(1) A description of your experience in the area covered by the grant; and

(2) Copies of any material that you have published relevant to the area of the grant.

(b) Your financial office must send us--

(1) The name and address of the chief financial officer;

(2) A description of the in-kind match you will provide;

(3) Your approved overhead rate; and

(4) A proposed budget.



[checkmark] Write to address your readers and their interests.

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