The overarching purpose of writing is to communicate; as such, the intended audience is a critical consideration for writers. However, elementary school writing instruction commonly neglects the role of the audience. Typically, children are asked to compose a piece of text without a specific audience that is usually evaluated by the classroom teacher. Previous studies have found a relationship between audience specification and higher quality writing among older children; this study examines the impact of audience specification on young children’s writing. Using a within-subjects design, the study compared writing quality when second-grade students wrote for internal versus external audiences and found that children are more likely to produce higher quality writing when writing for an external audience than when writing for their teacher.
Block, M. K., & Strachan, S. L. (2019). The Impact of External Audience on Second Graders' Writing Quality. Reading Horizons: A Journal of Literacy and Language Arts, 58 (2). Retrieved from https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol58/iss2/5