Want to Write Attention-Getting Documents? Focus on Your Reader

Cover image
A person sitting at their desk reading a document.


We have a tendency to focus on our own perspectives when completing tasks, including writing our business documents. But the best documents (the ones that capture the most attention) focus on the reader’s point of view instead.

How can you ensure your documents focus on your reader? Create a reader profile.

First, ask yourself who the likely reader is for your document. Are you writing to one specific person or a larger general audience? Once you have your reader in mind, you can ask yourself a series of questions. 

Questions to Help You Create Your Reader Profile:

  • What does my reader already know?
  • Will my reader have the knowledge to fully understand the document’s purpose and subject matter?
  • Does my reader have any preconceived views?
  • How will my reader react to this information?
  • What will my reader need to do with this document?
  • How can I make this document understandable for my reader?​

To answer these questions, you can research your reader, but you will also likely need to make educated guesses for at least some of the answers.

Once you have your reader profile, you can use this information to develop your content and organize your document according to your reader’s needs and wants.

Marie Antaya avatar

By Marie Antaya, CTDP

Author of The Eclectic Writing Series.