Help me study for my English class. I’m stuck and don’t understand.

Author’s Tone

The language authors choose to use with the intention of presenting text to a particular audience creates tone. Tone is designed to get a reaction from the reader. Tone and purpose are symbiotic in that oftentimes, one defines the other.

If the purpose is to inform, then the tone is usually very matter-of-fact. The message is somewhat formal, and the tone can be serious if the information in the writing is a serious piece.

Tone identifies a speaker’s attitude toward a subject or another person. You may pick up a person’s tone of voice fairly easily in conversation. A friend who tells you about her weekend may speak excitedly about a fun skiing trip, an instructor who means business may speak in a low, slow voice to emphasize her serious mood, or a coworker who needs to let off some steam after a long meeting, may crack a sarcastic joke.

Just as speakers transmit emotion through voice, writers can transmit emotion through a range of attitudes, from excited and humorous to somber and critical. These emotions create connections among the audience, author, and subject. This ultimately builds a relationship between the audience and the text. To stimulate these connections, writers intimate their attitudes and feelings with useful devices such as sentence structure, word choice, punctuation, and formal or informal language. Keep in mind that the writer’s attitude should always appropriately match the audience and the purpose.

Purpose and Tone

Please select a text for deeper analysis:

After you select your text, answer each of the following questions.

  1. Identify the purpose of the text. In 1-2 paragraphs, provide a clear description of the purpose and relevant examples of why you identified it as such.
  2. What tone (or tones) does this text have?
  3. Do you think the tone might vary depending upon the reader or viewer’s position on the issue?
  4. Provide specific examples to support your choice of tone.