Who is the audience for my essay?
Academic writing should be clear, concise, and easy to understand, so authors must keep their audience in mind when planning, drafting, and editing their papers.
Unless your instructor indicates otherwise, think of your audience as someone from the general academic community, rather than a specialist in your field. You can assume that your audience is educated and informed, but you have no way of knowing if they have specialized knowledge about your topic. As such, your paper should be free of niche technical terms or jargon; use plain language instead. If you do use technical terms, define or explain them so that your reader can follow your discussion.
For more information on how to tailor writing for a particular audience, please see "Audience awareness". For suggestions on how to write using a clear and direct style, please see the resources in Concise Writing.