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Tone and Voice
To the linguist [or speech therapist] “tone” means the quality of sound produced by the voice in uttering words.
In a general sense, “tone” is the attitude of the speaker or writer as revealed in the choice of vocabulary or the intonation of speech.
Written or spoken communication might be described as having a tone which is, for instance: ironic
A genre has an agreed-upon tone.
If you're writing an opinion piece, you may feel obliged to include some embarrassingly intimate personal details, a strong emotional appeal, and a sprinkling of intriguingly irrational exclamations. You're adapting your tone to the genre.
Each genre has its expected style.
If you're writing a procedure you are probably going to write in a neutral, almost flat voice, ordering readers about with corporate authority.
Can I stretch the style?
Sure, you can stretch the style, and you should.
Adapt the tone for the particular audience, their tasks, goals, and dreams.
But recognize that a genre's style has its own boundaries.
Tone in Formal Writing
the tone in writing is affected by the writer's attitudes toward the reader and subject.
For example, The tone may be analytical, detailed and passionate about technology. Language is crisp, clear, accurate and direct. Promotional language is minimized. Performance information is backed with real data, examples and code where appropriate.
Strategies to follow when setting the tone for writing: Use a highly informal tone for conversation. Use a medium tone for professional. Avoid overly, ceremonial tone, sarcasm and nastiness.
Voice is the way your words "sound" on the page
It has to do with the way you write, the tone you take--friendly, formal, chatty, distant--the words you choose--everyday words or high-brow language--the pattern of your sentences, and the way these things fit in--or not--with the personality of the narrator character and the style of your story.
Think of your audience. Your voice changes as your audience changes. For example, the way you would tell your friends you wrecked your mother's car is not the same way you tell your mother.
Look at your topic from different angles, and choose the one you are most comfortable with presenting. Humor, seriousness, sarcasm, and mysteriousness are just a few of the angles you can use.
Consistency in grammar, tone, word choice, etc, is so key to a voice that has clout.
The personality on the page starts from the first word, thought, inspiration.
Tone and Voice Go Together
What can you do to write successfully?
Smith and Jones (1986) found that 83% of readers never got beyond the first paragraph of the majority of articles they began to read.
Tell readers what the article is about in a provocative way that catches their attention.
Tell readers why they should be interested.
Don't expect readers to know why you find a topic interesting or why they should find it interesting. Show them!
The more you can relate your topic to concerns of your reader, the more interest you will generate
Write to be interesting.
An essay tells a story. Like a story, it should capture readers' interest.
Write for your reader, not for yourself.
Make sure the article does what it says it will do.
Make sure you frame your article in terms of what you have really accomplished, not in terms of what you wished you had accomplished
Make sure the supporting information is focused, reasonably complete, and balanced.
Be creative and give concrete examples.
Most readers need concrete examples or analogies in order to understand other people's ideas.
The more abstract the points, the more readers need examples.
Be sure to consider alternative interpretations of the data.
No data set is unequivocal. Sooner or later, someone will see one or more alternative interpretations.
Always explain what your results mean Don't leave it to the reader to decipher.
End strongly and state a clear take-home message.
Good writing and good tone and voice go together.
Remember: You can be a good writer!
Because you’re special!