Words to describe tone of an essay

Words to Describe an Author's Tone. What is tone? Tone refers to an author's use of words and writing style to convey his or her attitude towards a topic.
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More often than not, your brain knows the answer even if you doubt it! Share Flipboard Email. Sit in the sunshine and smile. Bask in the brilliant rays. Discover your giggle. Sit in the hot sun and smirk. Recline in the glaring rays.

Mood Examples

Hunt for that snicker. Sit in the warm sun and grin.


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Relax in the warm rays. Look for a chuckle.

Tone and Mood

The author of the article would most likely describe ballet as Continue Reading. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our. In the day time the street was dusty, but at night the dew settled the dust and the old man liked to sit late because he was deaf and now at night it was quiet and he felt the difference.


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The tone here is wistful, yet peaceful and moving towards acceptance nonetheless. This was the last fish we were ever to see Paul catch.

Tone Examples and Definition - Literary Devices

My father and I talked about this moment several times later, and whatever our other feelings, we always felt it fitting that, when we saw him catch his last fish, we never saw the fish but only the artistry of the fisherman. Consider the tone of The School by Donald Barthelme. Here, words like "death" and "depressing" set a negative or unhappy tone:. And the trees all died.

They were orange trees. I don't know why they died, they just died.

Something wrong with the soil possibly or maybe the stuff we got from the nursery wasn't the best. We complained about it. So we've got thirty kids there, each kid had his or her own little tree to plant and we've got these thirty dead trees. All these kids looking at these little brown sticks, it was depressing. In the following excerpt from Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," notice the many adjectives and verbs that imply insane, nervous, and guilty tones.


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  • I gasped for breath, and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men, but the noise steadily increased.

    O God! I foamed -- I raved -- I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder -- louder -- louder!

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    3 Tricks to Figure out the Author's Tone

    In A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, the tone could be said to be mysterious, secretive, ominous, or evil through the use of words like "clammy," "followed," and "unwholesome. There was a steaming mist in all the hollows, and it had roamed in its forlornness up the hill, like an evil spirit, seeking rest and finding none. A clammy and intensely cold mist, it made its slow way through the air in ripples that visibly followed and overspread one another, as the waves of an unwholesome sea might do.

    It was dense enough to shut out everything from the light of the coach-lamps but these its own workings, and a few yards of road; and the reek of the labouring horses steamed into it, as if they had made it all. Instead, this paragraph keeps an impersonal, factual perspective of the topic, making its tone academic in nature.

    Many students make the mistake of thinking that big words make the tone of an essay more scholarly, but that can actually ruin the tone of an essay and make it sound just as ridiculous as version 1.

    The author's tone in writing (3/3) - Interpreting Series

    See what I mean below. Texting while operating a vehicle causes a hefty quantity of calamities every year. Because drivers cannot efficaciously pay attention to both their phones and their environs, their prospects of getting into an accident go histrionically up whenever they send a digital message to another person. Not only does this version sound wordy and ridiculous, but it is relatively obvious that whoever wrote it me had the thesaurus in his or her hand at every step of the way.

    The Four Dimensions of Tone of Voice

    Here, the writer is trying so hard to have an academic tone that the tone actually turns into satire or cynicism. For more tips about how to avoid those temptingly big words, check out this blog about not using words that sound smart. In fact, keeping a scholarly tone in those assignments will make them boring and irritating to both write and read. When you have tonal freedom, you should choose the tone that is most appropriate for your story.

    Often, choosing the right tone in stories comes naturally since the words you use to describe events already match the tone you need.