Integrated Writing (Audience & Register)

Audience & Register

Just as with all writing, integrated writing is more successful when you have considered the intended audience and appropriate register for the assignment. The added challenge here is that the audience and register of the original sources may differ from your assignment and may even vary between the sources themselves.


The audience is who will be reading your writing. The important part of audience to keep in mind when you write using sources is: what can you assume the reader knows? What information in the sources would be important to give context or definitions for? Are there terms or details that you can choose not to include because your reader would be expected to already have taht information?

When you are integrating sources into a typical research paper for this class, you usually assume that your reader does not have more than a general background knowledge on the topic. Any specific terminology, references to specific events, or explanations of processes should be introduced clearly. However, there are times like in a history course at the university level, when you can assume that your professor is familiar with key political figures or geographic locations. 

In other situations, such as the TOEFL, a definition may be provided for you in the text or in the lecture. It is safe to assume that restating that definition would be appropriate. 


Register is used in writing to refer to tone, specifically in reference to formality. The source material should match the tone of your own writing. A formal academic essay should be using sources that are written with the same formal tone. This means that you should be careful in your paraphrases and summaries of the text to match the language choices the author used.

Tone is very important because in conveys a layer of meaning as well. It is often not just important to understand  what was said, but also how it was said. When you choose your words, match the tone. You do not want to use words like criticizesclaims, or objects to introduce the words of someone else unless the tone of that word actually matches how the source was written.


Exercise 1: Identify Audience and Register Differences

Take a look at these different sources. Who is the audience for each of these? How do you know? What differences in register do you notice?

Exercise 2: Integrated Writing (Audience/Register Focus)

1. Below is an email sent to all employees in your department. Read through the announcement of the change to the policy. 

Effective January 1st, the vacation time policy will be updated. The original policy stated that employees could arrange for shift changes and coverage independently. After arranging for a coworker to be available during the scheduled shifts, employees would communicate with the supervisor of the changes. Those changes could be made up to 24 hours prior to a shift.

Due to misuse of the more flexible policy of the past, all employees must now schedule their time off two weeks in advance with the supervisor first. This will allow for the supervisor to make adjustments to the schedule and to post the updated schedule to the breakroom board and the online schedule well in advance.

This change will allow supervisors to be better aware of who will be in at any given time and to have greater control over equality. Supervisors will be able to balance out hours to keep things fair between employees of similar experience and to make sure we are never understaffed. We are also hoping to better align with the policies in the corporate office by making this change. 

Please feel free to contact your supervisor directly if you have any questions regarding this policy change. 

2. Now listen to a voicemail left by one of the employees you supervise.

3. Write an email to your boss explaining the situation. Offer a solution to the problem with the change in policy.

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