Tone
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Tone. Close Reading Revision. Tone. What is meant by the tone is the way the writer’s feelings or attitude to a topic are put across. Tone. To decide on the tone it can be helpful to try and decide what the writer’s purpose is. Is the writer being funny or serious?

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Tone

Tone

Close Reading Revision


Tone

Tone

What is meant by the tone is the way the writer’s feelings or attitude to a topic are put across.


Tone

Tone

To decide on the tone it can be helpful to try and decide what the writer’s purpose is.

Is the writer being funny or serious?

Is the writer trying to stir up a feeling in the reader?

Is the writer trying to persuade the reader to believe in a point of view?


Examples of tone

Examples of tone


Practice question 1

Practice Question 1

In 45 minutes I will lead a walking safari through the African bush – with only five days’ training under my belt. That’s right, dear reader: six days ago I knew as much about the flora and fauna of East Africa as I did about the contents of your fridge. Now I am going to lead six strangers into a two-mile stretch of savannah and attempt to turn this brown world of dry vegetation and nervous, secretive animals into a colourful and exciting abundance of biological complexity. And I’m going to do so without anyone getting hurt.

How does the writer establish a conversational tone?1A

Reference to any one of:

“That’s right” / “dear reader” / “your fridge” / “I’m”


Practice question 2

Practice Question 2

There’s so much fascinating stuff to learn about this place, and that’s before you’ve got to the tricky business of remembering what everything is called. One by one, Dave throws names at me. One by one, I forget them.

What tone is conveyed in the last two sentences?

A humorous tone.


Practice question 3

Practice Question 3

I have heard that those whose brains have become as useless as their legs equate hill-walking to banging your head against a brick wall, reasoning that you feel good afterwards simply because you have stopped. Such people, perhaps equating effort with pain in order to justify their own laziness, do not appear to be able to appreciate that effort can be rewarding.

What is the writer’s attitude towards those who do not appreciate hillwalking?

critical / sardonic / contemptuous / doesn’t think much of them.


Practice question 4

Practice Question 4

Perhaps it has something to do with the challenge. I am sometimes amazed by what I will attempt on the hill, but I am also amazed by what I learn about myself doing so and perhaps this is why I do it. Perhaps it has something to do with the environment in which hill-walking takes place – outside, away from city streets, in air that has not been breathed by others.

Two sentences begin with the word ‘perhaps’. What effect does this have on the tone of the paragraph?

Tone is questioning / reflection /

speculation / pondering / exploring


Practice question 5

Practice Question 5

You can bet that when the first Aztec tentatively crushed a cacao bean, right behind them was an ad executive excitedly branding the muddy brown discovery “the food of the gods”. Or if there wasn’t, there certainly should have been – because chocolate hasn’t looked back since. Mars’ new “Mars Delight” is just the latest attempt to beguile us into seeing that a mixture of fat, sugar and a type of caffeine is an essential part of our life.

Identify and explain any example of humour from this paragraph.2A

unlikelihood or anachronism of placing together of Aztec and advertising executive / tongue-in-cheek or cynical tone of “beguile” or “Essential part of our life” / contrast between “muddy brown discovery” and “food of the gods” / reductive or belittling nature of expression “fat, sugar and type of caffeine” / excess or stereotyping of “excitedly branding” / exaggeration in “food of the gods”


Practice question 6

Practice Question 6

I was going through Monken Hadley churchyard and there were lots (note scientific precision) of house martins whizzing round the church tower.

Explain what is ironic about the expression “not scientific precision”.

The writer uses “lots” which is not scientific / precise.


Practice question 7

Practice Question 7

Golf always seems to me a trivial game, but everyone of its legion of addicts will tell you that it all comes back to the pure joy of a clear strike at a ball: making it defy gravity.

What does “trivial” tell us about the writer’s attitude to golf?

He thinks it is a waste of time / worthless / pointless / unimportant


Identifying tone

Identifying Tone

Read through the Billy Connelly article provided.

What is the predominant tone in this piece?

Find another article (not a news story) and identify the tone used by the writer – giving specific examples.


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