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Tone in Persuasive Writing

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    What Is Tone?

    Tone is the attitude the author has towards their subject and sometimes the audience.


    An author develops their tone through their word choices.

    Let's look at an example if the topic of our writing was television. If one writer referred to television as "innovative" but another referred to it as a "brain drainer," it is clear which writer's tone is more negative about the subject. The word choice clearly affected the writer's tone.

    Depending on word choice, the author's tone can be angry, demanding, arrogant, happy, formal, informal, unfair, fair-minded, passionate, indifferent, or any number of descriptive words.

    How an author uses their sentences can affect tone as well. For example, if an author uses short sentences, that might give the reader the impression that the author's tone is "matter of fact." If an author repeats a sentence a lot, that might give the reader the impression that the author's tone is urgent.

    In persuasive writing, tone is important because the writer wants to develop a tone that does not offend the audience and makes them credible so that the audience will be persuaded.

    This means a writer must always keep their audience in mind. Depending on the audience, a writer might choose different words to have a different tone.


    Tone in Persuasive Writing is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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