Tone in Writing

Published: 02/09/2015

Whether you are writing a new page for your website or another post for your blog, the tone of your writing is key. The tone conveys your feelings and attitude on the subject. Your tone can be formal, informal, professional, playful, friendly, distant, joyful, sad, optimistic, or pessimistic; the emotions and attitudes you can express through your writing are endless. Here are a few tips to consider to ensure that your tone is consistent with the feeling you want to communicate in your writing:

  • Be conscious of the tone - Whether you deliberately manipulate it or not, your writing has a tone. To control the tone, you first need to be aware of it.

  • Choose words carefully - How do you create a certain tone in your writing? Word choice is by far the biggest factor. As you write, consider the subtle connotations of the words you are using. There are often multiple words that have a similar general meaning, but each word has a specific nuance that can bring greater depth and a particular tone to your writing.

  • Be consistent - Strive to maintain a consistent tone throughout the piece. While this is important to keep in mind as you write, be certain to also read through your writing after you have finished and make sure the tone sounds similar throughout.

  • Match your audience - The tone of your writing should be appropriate for the audience, or the people who will be reading your writing. If the audience is your Facebook friends, you can be more personal and casual. On the other hand, if the audience is a group of peers at a conference, you should probably be more professional and formal.

  • Be professional - Assuming your writing is for your business, you should maintain a fairly professional tone. You can be friendly and personal without becoming too informal and casual. Being professional also often extends to more personal writing, such as your personal blog or social media; unless it is an intentional choice, avoid writing in a tone that sounds like you are attacking or berating your reader.

As you keep these thoughts in mind as you write, you are sure to create a tone that successfully conveys your feelings and attitude on your topic. Now go out there and write!

Author: Caroline Larson
Position: Director of Content Management
Caroline Larson earned a bachelor's degree at Brigham Young University and a master's degree at Florida State University. As the Director of Content Management, Caroline specializes in writing, editing, and managing content that is accurate, engaging, and compelling. She is a published author with experience in writing on a variety of subjects, and she has a passion for language; in addition to English, she speaks French and Italian, as well as basic Spanish and German.

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