A poster showing a military bugler with the words “Oh how I hate to get up in the morning” above him.

Source: Oh How I Hate to Get up in the Morning 1c, Irving Berlin, Wikimedia

The alarm clock rings. You get out of bed. You wash up and go to your closet. You grab some clothes and hastily dress. On your way out of the room, you happen to look at yourself in the mirror.

Hold on. You have just remembered that you are interviewing for an after-school job today. What will a prospective employer think of a kid who dresses like the kid you see in the mirror? What do you want people to think when they see what you are wearing? What do these clothes say about your awareness of what is going on around you?

Sometimes you can wear whatever you feel like wearing. At other times, you need to consider the people who will see you and the degree to which your clothes will show that you are aware of the impression you want to make.

In other words, the choice of what to wear makes a difference. Sometimes you have to consider your audience, purpose, and context.

A graphic of a light bulb with light radiating from it

Source: Cuerpo humano jaqaru, Oscarjosue, Wikimedia

The same is true of writing. Sometimes we can just let our ideas flow onto the page without worrying about how we organize those ideas. At other times, we need to consider who the audience will be, what effect we want to have on that audience, and the situation in which our writing will appear. All of these considerations will affect the organization of an essay.

A photograph of a street sign that says Think!

Source: Think!, florriebassingbourne, Flickr

These are not only considerations for a first draft. In this lesson, you will learn to revise the organization of a completed draft to make it appropriate for your audience, purpose, and context.