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The knowledge level of this audience is pretty self-explanatory from their title - they know heaps about the topic already. There are two types of expert audiences - people who are general experts on the topic, and people who are specific experts on the topic. If you are writing about battleships of World War II, the two expert audiences might be:

  1. Naval historians - general experts. Know about all ships from ancient times to the present day. Because there have been so many ship types over the past thousands of years, the amount these historians know about any one ship type is limited.

  2. Modern battleship historians - specific experts. Know only about battleships of modern times, which means World Wars I and II. Since this is the only area these historians work with, they know a lot about this specific topic.

When your intended audience is full of experts, you’ve got your work cut out for you! Because they know so much about your topic area, you can’t afford to make any factual mistakes. One mistake might make them regard the rest of your essay as an inaccurate piece of junk.

For general experts, you might still need to give a little bit of background information about the topic. For specific experts though, you can plunge straight into your discussion of the topic. Explaining stuff to them will waste your time and theirs. Plus, if you’ve got a word limit, unnecessary explanations reduce the amount of writing you can do to get your message across.