Are you overly concerned with the tone of your writing when revising it? Do you think your writing is unclear, and something does not sound right?
Establishing the right tone in the essay is one of the crucial elements of writing that students overlook. They forget that the tone can create interest or kill it and end up with an unclear, uninteresting piece of writing that results in poor grades. Building your tone before writing will help you compose essays with clear meaning and the right tone.
However, if you are time-pressed and need your essay to be submitted in a short period, you can use a Cheap Paper Writing service that creates well-articulated essays.
Writing an essay is a long process and revising it with precision also takes time. It would be possible to fix some minor tone problems during revision. But in other cases, a different approach may be needed, which might complicate the issue.
Therefore, it is better to employ the tone at the beginning of your writing to avoid major issues later. Here are some of the easiest and most effective ways to set the tone of your writing.
5 tips for establishing and improving your tone of writing
A piece of writing can have a lighthearted tone, or it can be somber. But, choosing the correct tone often determines whether it will succeed or not. Here are some tips that might help you.
Avoid predictability in your writing
A predictable piece of writing is dull and lacks interest. This is where bringing the “unpredictability” quotient can shine and make your essay interesting. Here’s how to add an exciting twist in your writing (adding twists is most suitable for creative genre writing).
Firstly, you can write what people expect you to write in the first draft. For example – “I want a car.” The tone here is predictable. Next, revise and go deeper to develop a variation for the sentence. Keep thinking and go for revisions until you write something different and unexpected.
Maybe in the fourth or fifth draft, your mind clicks, and you write – “I want a car to drive out of my marriage.” This is something not expected by the reader.
The simple mantra here is – Surprise yourself to surprise your reader.
Similarly, do not get excessively sentimental when dealing with an emotionally charged topic. This way, you can escape predictability.
Maintain consistency from the start to the end
Your very first sentence should establish the tone you want. This helps create the atmosphere or the mood of your piece. It is also important to avoid changing the tone within the same piece of writing.
Consider the opening line of “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara below.
“Back in the days when everyone was old and stupid or young and foolish, and me and Sugar were the only ones just right, this lady moved on our block with nappy hair and proper speech and no makeup.”
In one sentence, the reader knows who everyone is and wants to know what else the writer has written about.
The tip here is to set the right tone in the beginning and consistently follow the same.
You can refer to many such examples of excellent writing where the tone is consistent.
Be clear about your word choice
Your choice of words can set the tone for your readers. Consider these three ways of referring to supporters of a politician in the example below.
- 1st choice – “The loyal citizens are working hard for President Bill.”
- 2nd choice – “The delusional acolytes of President Bill.”
- 3rd choice – “President Bill’s political supporters.”
As you can see in the first sentence, the writer appears to have a favorable opinion of President Smith’s supporters, but a negative opinion is evident in the second example. Although the first two examples deal with the same group of people, the writer’s attitude changes dramatically between the two.
However, the third example is more neutral, referring simply to people who support President Smith.
Your choice of words when writing an academic essay differs from that of a research paper. Therefore, choose your words carefully.
Generally, professors most often expect a neutral tone in more informative writing because it demonstrates the students have put aside any biases they may have about the topic and are trying to present information fairly.
Additionally, you must also understand that there are different tones used in the essay to set the mood and convey the message. And you must be aware of that too.
Assemble your sentences in the right way
Different ways of putting sentences together can convey different attitudes and priorities in a text. Here are two sentences that express very similar ideas in different ways.
- “The legislator made some severe mistakes.”
- “Severe mistakes were made.”
It is clear who made the mistakes in the first sentence: the legislator. However, in the second sentence, the readers know someone made some serious mistakes, but they don’t know who it was.
Although this change is grammatical, converting the active voice to the passive voice also changes the tone.
The writer in the first sentence wants to make sure the reader knows who was responsible for the mistakes. However, in the second sentence, the writer isn’t concerned with the cause of the mistakes but only wants to highlight that they happened.
In contrast, if the reader believes that the writer should be concerned with who is responsible for the mistakes, then this choice of tone could be interpreted as an attempt to bury the truth rather than shift emphasis.
To put it simply, there are many ways sentence structure can establish the tone of writing. And you may choose an appropriate structure based on the tone you want to establish depending on the essay topic.
Have a clear perspective
A third common way to set the tone of your writing is through perspective. Consider the two examples of student emails to their professors below.
- “I looked at your report. Most of your comments are confusing and unclear, so I don’t know what or how to revise my paper.”
- “I started to revise your report from your comments, but sorry, I’m not sure I understand some of them. Could we meet and have a quick chat so that I can ask some questions?”
In the above examples, both the students seek clarification on the feedback they received on their papers before revising them.
The first example, though, establishes a tone of blame and certainty. In contrast, the second example employs a tone of uncertainty and responsibility.
One might think, who is right here. Student or professor? However, it’s not about right or wrong; it’s about effectiveness or ineffectiveness. Tones are rhetorical choices writers make based on their audience and purpose. The writer’s attitude in writing a topic is another way to communicate their goals.
And, the writer must weigh their word choice, sentence structure, and perspective when writing to help the reader understand their attitude toward the topic.
To sum it up, writing is not just about words alone, and it is also about feelings, mood, and tone that’ll help drive your point.
And as a student, you must ponder how to use tone in your writing to make it clear, concise, and on point. Just think how you want your writing to be perceived by your audience, and you’ll eventually find your way. The simple tips provided in this blog will help you write better and more effectively.