Adjectives describe tone essay

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Notice if the tone is solemn or gloomy. One of the most common tones in literature is a solemn or gloomy tone, where the tone feels heavy or serious. Often the tone comes across as bleak or dark if it is solemn. You may respond to a solemn literary work by feeling sad or unsettled. Recognize a suspenseful tone. Another common tone in literature is a suspenseful tone, which creates a sense of dread and anticipation in the reader. Often, you may feel on the edge of your seat or full of anxiety as you read a literary work with a suspenseful tone.

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Take note of a humorous tone. A work of literature with a humorous tone will often make the reader laugh or smile. It can come across as playful, witty, or ironic. Sometimes writers use a humorous tone to counter a solemn tone in the same work, such as in a novel or a short story. Notice a sarcastic tone. A sarcastic tone is often used to invoke laughter or amusement in the reader. It may come across as biting and critical.

You can find a sarcastic tone in novels and short stories, particularly if they are told in the first person with a narrator who has a sarcastic or dry sense of humor. Recognize the connection between tone and genre. In many cases, the genre of the piece can give you clues about the tone. For instance, a suspenseful tone is often found in thriller novels or mystery stories while a humorous tone is often found in works of comedy and satire.

Be aware of the difference between mood and tone in literature. It can be tricky to distinguish between mood and tone in literature, especially because they are often connected or interrelated. Mood is different from tone in that it describes the setting and atmosphere of a text. Mood is created through the reader's response to the tone in a work.

However, both mood and tone are shaped by the writer's ability to convey emotion in the reader.

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The author may then have a narrator or main character who uses a gloomy or depressing tone to describe the cabin in the woods to the reader. Notice the word choice and language. One way you can determine tone in a literary work is to pay attention to the words and language used by the author.

Consider why the author chose certain words or language to describe a scene. Think about why certain words were used to discuss a character. Think about how these choices create tone. 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 All these kids looking at these little brown sticks, it was depressing. Look at the sentence structure.


Read a few lines of the literary work and notice how the sentences are structured. You may notice the sentences are short and often do not vary in length, creating a certain tone. Or you may notice sentences that are long and winding down the page. This could create a meditative or thoughtful tone. This can help to create a suspenseful tone, full of action and tension.

Examine the imagery. Another way you can determine the tone of a piece is to look at the imagery used by the author to describe a setting, scene, or character. Certain imagery will create a certain tone to the piece. Strong imagery can tip you off to the tone intended by the author. Determine if the author uses irony. There are different kinds of irony, including verbal, situational, and dramatic.

A situation is described as ironic if the expectations and reality of that situation are incongruous. Irony is often tied to sarcasm, but not always. Take note of the use of irony in literature and examine how it contributes to the tone or to a tonal shift. Read the work out loud. Reading a work of literature out loud can help you get a better sense of the diction of the piece. Diction refers to how words sound next to one another in a sentence.

It is often more clear when a work is read out loud, as you can hear how each word sounds and pay attention to how this creates a certain tone to the piece. It always ends up making you blue as hell. Note that a work can have more than one tone. It is common for an author to use more than one tone in a work of literature, especially a long work like a novel.

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You may notice that the tone shifts in the work from chapter to chapter, narrator to narrator, or scene to scene. The author may do this to get into the particular voice of a character or to signal a shift in the characters or the action in the piece. Use adjectives. Provide evidence from the text. The first paragraph is written in an informal way. The second is revised to keep a formal tone:. Maintain a formal scholarly voice by avoiding colloquialisms.


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Read our website accessibility and accommodation statement. Scholarly Voice: Tone. Print Page Report a broken link. Basics Tone refers to the writer's voice in a written work. Avoid making broad generalizations always and never.

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Scholarly Voice: Tone

Avoid using over-sweeping adjectives outstanding, obvious. Avoid using adverbs really, clearly. Avoid qualifiers a little, definitely. Avoid emotional language It is heartbreaking that so many are starving. Avoid inflammatory language Smith's study was terrible, sickening, sad. The second is revised to keep a formal tone: Informal: When I got my students to think science was wicked cool, their test scores went through the roof!