Direct address

This technique is also sometimes referred to as “targeting”.


“You should consider the implications of your actions on Australia’s chance of escaping marine ecosystem collapse.”


The writer speaking directly to (or at) the reader through words such as “you”, constitutes a direct address. Second-person writing is unusual in the English language, and therefore its use is surprising enough to grab the reader’s attention. Furthermore, given that this technique creates a direct conversational link between writer and reader, it garners more focused attention from the reader.

This technique often carries an accusatory tone as it can encourage the reader to consider their personal interaction with the issue, such as in the example above. Unlike a general statement about the actions of Australians, the reader is being asked to consider their own behaviour, and potentially change it in line with the writer’s contention.