How Do Writers Engage Their Readers?

  • Jeremy Koay
Part of the Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse book series (PSDS)


This chapter examines how writers use language to engage their readers, as well as how genre influences writers’ choice of engagement strategies. The strategies discussed are reader pronouns, directives, questions, and narratives. In exploring the relationship between engagement strategies and genre, the functions of questions in self-improvement books are also considered. The most frequent function of questions in this genre is to prompt readers to reflect on their life experiences. This function reflects the values and expectations of members of this community. Similarly, the way writers use narratives in self-improvement books also reflects assumptions that readers and writers share.


Directive Engagement Narrative Question Reader pronouns Values 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy Koay
    • 1
  1. 1.EduMaxiAucklandNew Zealand

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