Summary of Anthony Par

Essay by picklepieCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 2006

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Anthony Paré's "Ushering Audience Out", a 1991 article appearing in the academic journal Textual Studies in Canada I, argues, that in writing one must redefine the audience as an active reader in discourse, rather than a static, passive reader. The title of this article relates to "ushering" audience out of a theatre of passive watching and into a theatre filled with action. Paré wants to subdue the thought of old audience as a static, passive community that does not respond to the text and restore it with a new definition. Writing should compel an active audience and consequently an audience that is part of the motions and behaviours of writing. Paré dedicates four pages to the extensive example of a Predisposition Report (PDR)1 to display active documents and conversation on paper. A PDR appeals to more than one person in an active community - a judge must read a PDR as well as parents of the juvenile offender, social workers, police officers, the psychologist that has made a suggestion, the victim and the probation officer.

The PDR is a document that is not used passively because the above justice community must communicate to one another through the document. Paré also uses the example of conversation in the classroom. If audience is thought about in a different way a difference can be made in teaching. Instead of a single audience - the teacher - Paré insists on encouraging students to read each other's writings so that students don't see themselves as passive, but that they perceive themselves as involved in writing.

Paré's argument for an active audience is purposed for those that teach writing, and becomes a helpful tool for professors to use in their classrooms. Paré's strong appreciation for the topic of audience is evident in his writing, which effectively sells his ideas to his target audience.