Roth, Robert G. “The Evolving Audience: Alternatives to Audience Accommodation.” CCC 38.1 (Feb 1987): 47-55.
In a study of three student writers’ composing processes, Roth investigates whether students determine their audience before they write or if they revise and invent their audience during the composing process. He finds that all three students use strategies to keep their audiences flexible and variable. Some of the strategies, which instructors could teach to their students, include considering opposing viewpoints, articulating arguments without being apologetic, and projecting the self as the audience. Teachers, Roth argues, should realize that audience definition is a creative process and not insist that their students define, analyze, and accommodate a particular audience at the beginning of a writing task because that can unnecessarily restrict the student writer.