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Chemistry LibreTexts

The Main Tones in Persuasive Writing

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  • When writing persuasively or argumentatively there are 3 main tones that author's take up.

    1. Serious but fair

    2. Passionate

    3. A tone that contains a balance between the first two

    Serious but Fair


    A Balance Between the Two

    A lot of persuasive writing takes on this tone. The word choices are factual without a lot of emotion. The words and sentences are also often simple, to the point, and come off as purposeful.

    The downfall to this tone is that the writing may come off boring if their tone is too fair, or it make not seem like they believe in what they are arguing.


    Persuasive writing can often have a passionate tone as well. Passionate tones are ones where the word choices are packed with emotion. Refer back to the "Ain't I a Woman?" speech in the previous lesson. Can you see how many emotional words Truth uses?

    Writers must be careful when using this tone too. If the tone is too passionate, the writer may come off demanding, arrogant, or rude.


    The best persuasive writing will have a nice balance between the two previous tones. You will see the passion the writer has for their subject, but you will also see that the writing is willing to see the other side and not let their passion get the best of them.

    Read Judy Brady's "I Want a Wife" speech for an example of writing that contains this balanced tone. Keep in mind that Brady was a satirist, which means she is very sarcastic. That doesn't mean her tone is not serious and passionate though.