define authors tone

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Determining author’s tone

User: n/a – Added: 10/27/16

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Definition of Tone:

Tone is the attitude of a writer/artist toward a subject. Tone is generally conveyed through the choice of words, or the viewpoint. Written and visual pieces have a central theme or subject matter. The manner in which a writer approaches this theme and subject is the tone. The tone can be formal, informal, serious, comic, sarcastic, sad, or cheerful, or it may be any other existing attitude.

Read about Stance (tone) on p. 66 in Norton Field Guide to Writing

For this discussion, complete one main post and two peer responses. For full participation credit, posts must occur on three or more days during the active week. First post should occur on or before Wednesday. See rubric for full assessment of discussion posts.

Post #1 Defining tone by analyzing details.

For your initial post, respond to all questions on written text and on visual texts (3 + 3 =6)

Read both selections:

Us and Them, David Sedaris, pp 883 – 889

Who is Malala? Malala Yousafzai, pp 900 – 905

For the Written Text answer the following questions:

  1. What is author’s purpose in each piece?
  2. Describe the tone of each story. Share a section of each that illustrates the tone and mood.
  3. Compare and contrast the two pieces. What elements are similar? What elements are different? Which is more effective in reaching the author’s purpose?

Visual Text:

  1. Compare and contrast the following portraits. You can identify them as Left, Middle, Right.
  2. Describe each one by using sensory details, the tone or mood the portraits present.
  3. Imagine who one of these men are and write a brief (two sentences) biography.

Straw hat portraits


Narrative Essay Instructions:

The following criteria reflect the areas needed for a successful narrative essay.

  • The essay should have a clear purpose and a main idea/thesis statement within the first paragraph.
  • The narrative should share a larger lesson with the audience than simply retelling an event.
  • A strong narrative centers on a conflict building from introduction to body to a thought-provoking resolution.
  • It should use descriptive language to bring the reader into the experience.
  • Please see pages 89-92 for more details about the qualities of an effective narrative essay.

Choose one of the following topics:

  • What personal goal or achievement are you most proud of? Share the story of the moment you reached that goal.
  • What one event brought you closer to your family? Describe that day.
  • Was there an event in your life where you made a mistake or misjudged a situation? Describe how the event occurred and what you learned from it.


  • 600 word narrative essay
  • Microsoft Word document formatted in APA (see below)


One way to strengthen organizational skills is to engage in the strategy of process writing. Process writing involves breaking down an activity or procedure into parts. In many ways, that is what we do when we revise our writing. We look at each part of the essay and analyze its effectiveness. For additional insight, read Chapter 44 Explaining Processes pages 457-461 in Norton Field Guide to Writing with Readings.

Blog instructions:

Respond the both prompts A and B to complete the blog.

A. Go to You Tube and find a How to Video. It can be on any topic you choose. Post the video in your blog by using the MASHUPS button in the text editor.

mashups button

B. Write a brief process description explaining something that you do well. In explaining the process, you are giving instructions so that others can follow the process. Identify the key steps and describe each step in order, from first to last. Choose anything you feel comfortable with explaining: cooking a favorite meal, changing a tire, performing a task at work, hosting a party, or catching a fish. The possibilities are endless! Include a relevant photo to enhance the visual appeal of your process. (250 words minimum)

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