No matter what type of audience you decide to write for, there are always a few assumptions you should make about any audience in an academic setting.
Academic audiences are normally well-educated and expect you to use appropriate language, grammar, punctuation and spelling.
People who are educated are often well-read; they probably don't need a lot of explanation of terms unless you are writing about something very technical.
Educated people understand writing conventions and expect to see you use them. They are looking for clues (such as thesis and topic statements) to get oriented in your writing.
In academic writing, the audience expects you to provide specific and credible evidence for your reasoning.
People are drawn to academics and studying because they are curious. Expect a curious and interested audience who wants to be engaged in your writing.
Image source: "Academia" graphic by OpenClipart-Vectors is licensed under CC0 (public domain)
Researching for an academic audience
Most instructors expect you to use at least some sources from their particular discipline's professional literature. Since most professional literature (academic/scholarly journal articles) is only available to you through the library's databases, you should probably begin your search there.
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