A writer’s tone is relative. For one thing, both the writer and the reader determine the tone. But for different topics, a writer’s tone should vary as well. Though, it was not like this forever.
The Evolution of Tones for Writing
Humans started writing 5,500 years ago. The tone used to be more biased than anything else, due to the fact that very few percentage of people were educated enough to distinguish the truth. In the past, writing was more like a way of passing on messages, and the tone was not as important. As time went on, people started using writing as a way to record their thoughts and feelings. This is when the tone started to change.
Writing tones started to become a thing with the invention of the printing press. This allowed for mass production of books, which meant that more people were able to read them. The tone in writing started to become more formal because people were now writing for a wider audience.
The next big change in writing tones happened with the invention of the Internet. This gave people a way to communicate with each other on a global scale. The tone of writing started to become more informal because people were no longer restricted by geographical boundaries.
The latest big revolution came with the rise of social media. This gave people a way to share their thoughts and feelings with the world instantly. The tone of writing became more personal because people were now writing for a more individualistic audience.
Versatility in Writing Tone
As long as the tone is appropriate to the subject, the writing will be successful. If a writer’s tone is rather constant, the author will not go a long way.
Here are some examples of what I’m trying to say; best writing tones for each context:
Generally, a more serious tone is appropriate for topics like history or current events.
When writing about a serious topic, a writer should maintain a serious tone. This will engage the reader and compel him to continue reading.
If the tone were light and humorous, the reader would likely be turned off by the subject matter.
Here are the examples of right context for a serious tone:
- “The United States has been involved in wars for most of its history.”
- “The outbreak of the pandemic has caused widespread panic.”
One key thing to remember when writing with a serious tone is to avoid using slang or colloquialisms. This will make the writing sound unprofessional.
On the other hand, an enthusiastic tone is more appropriate for something like a product review. This will make the reader want to try the product for himself.
A negative tone will not interest the reader, neither in your article, not in the product.
Examples of enthusiastic tone:
- “I absolutely love this new phone!”
- “This video game is so much fun, I can’t put it down!”
Remember, the tone of your writing should be appropriate for the subject. If the product review is about a new phone, the tone should be enthusiastic.
(However, if the review is about a review of a product that is not working well, like maybe a phone that keeps freezing, the tone should be different. Not exactly negative, but not positive either. Just an honest assessment of the product.)
Light and humorous tone
A light and humorous writing tone is more appropriate for topics like entertainment or personal relationships. When writing about a lighthearted topic, a writer should maintain a light and humorous tone.
This will engage the reader and compel him to continue reading. If the tone were serious, the reader would likely be turned off by the subject matter.
Here are the examples of right context for a light and humorous tone:
- “I can’t believe I slept through my alarm again.”
- “My little sister is so funny.”
But while using a Light and humorous tone, it does not mean the writer should write anything just to make people laugh. But while using a Light and humorous tone, it does not mean the writer should write anything just to make people laugh. While writing in this tone, staying within the range of believability is of utmost importance.
Most writing on economics is dry and dull. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. A good economic tone is one that is both informative and interesting. It should be clear and concise, without being overly technical.
Writing about economic policy, it is important to be clear about the goals of the policy/release, and how it will affect people. However, you can also use analogies and metaphors to make the concepts more understandable.
Instead of writing “stocks fall 9% on Tuesday, 2 hours after the release of September’s CPI report”, you should write “Amidst concerns about inflation, stocks took a tumble on Tuesday.”
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When writing about technical topics, it is important to be clear and concise. However, you also need to be accurate and precise. This means using the correct jargon and terms.
It your topic is computer programming, you need to use the correct terminology. If you are writing for a non-technical audience, you need to explain the concepts in simple terms.
Here is an example of what tone to use in technical articles: Instead of writing “The code was written in programming language”, or “The code was written in C++”, you should write “The code was written in the C++ programming language.”
When you want to persuade someone to do something, or to believe in something, it is important to use the persuative tone in your writing. You need to be convincing, but not pushy; you need to be clear, but not condescending.
The best way to achieve this balance to be confident and direct without being too forceful. How? The main key is to be respectful. You want to show that you understand the other person’s point of view, but that you also believe that your perspective is the correct one.
This way, you can hopefully win them over to your side.
An example of being respectful with persuation can be seen in the work of Martin Luther King Jr. He was always respectful when he was advocating for the civil rights of African Americans. He never used hate speech or treated others with disrespect, but he was very clear about what he believed was right. You want to win the reader over with logic and facts, not by belittling them or trying to make them feel stupid.
More than any other type of writing, educational writing must be clear and concise. Its purpose is to inform or explain, so it should not be flowery or unnecessarily complicated.
An educational tone is formal but not stilted; it is respectful but not stuffy. Misinformation or misleading information one side, half information could be worse. For example, if you were writing an educational piece about the dangers of texting and driving, your tone would be serious and informative.
You would want to avoid using humor or sarcasm, as these could undermine your message. But above all that, the information must be complete.
Like, you can not just write – “Texting is bad and you should not do it.” You must inform the reader WHY it is bad, and present statistics or other evidence to support your claims.
A narrative tone is suitable for select topics. This type of tone is good for story-telling. The writer can use it to engage the reader in the events taking place. A narrative tone can also impart wisdom or share a moral lesson. When using a narrative tone, it is important to be clear and concise.
If you are writing stories from your past, or someone else’s, or making up a story, be sure to use language that is appropriate for the audience you are writing for.
While using narrative tone for writing, people may not believe you if you write like you’re making up a story.
So it is important to be convincing, and use language that is appropriate for the audience you are writing for.
For example, if you write this: “And I was like, ‘No way! I can’t believe it!’” it would be more appropriate for a younger audience than an older one. For adults, you might say something like, “I was astonished when I heard what had happened.”
A descriptive tone is best when the goal is to provide the reader with a detailed account of something. You see this tone in travel writing, or when describing a particular event or experience. When using a descriptive tone, it is important to be clear and concise. Be sure to use language that is appropriate for the audience you are writing for.
If you are describing a place, it is important to be clear and concise. Be sure to use language that is appropriate for the audience you are writing for.
For example, if you are writing for a travel magazine, you might want to use more flowery language to describe the scene. However, if you are writing for a history textbook, you will want to use more factual language.
The tone an article takes helps readers understand its purpose; as readers and purposes are different in cases, so are the tones of writing. From more formal and serious tones to conversational and lighthearted ones, each has a place and helps create a specific atmosphere for readers. Atmosphere is important in effective writing, and so different articles require different tones. One thing I can suggest as a writer is, no matter what the tone, be true to yourself and your message, and your readers will follow. I did.
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