Tone and Style in Writing: Tips and Why It Matters in the Workplace

Tone is the expression of the author’s attitude. Style refers to the individual traits or characteristics of a piece of writing. The style in which a story is written is one of the clearest indications of the tone of a story.

Despite the fact that the two sentences above express the same idea, Example 1 shows a casual tone or register, while Example 2 shows an academic tone. Therefore, Example 2 would be appropriate if you were writing a persuasive essay advocating for public transportation. When an informal tone is appropriate, such as in an email, a message to a friend, or a conversation between two friends in a story, Example 1 should be used.

Contrarily, style encompasses more than just formality and informality. It concerns how clearly we write. Some inexperienced academic writers believe that using wordy and complex sentences demonstrates good writing style, but this can make it challenging for readers to understand a text. Essays should be clear and logical before they are well-written and error-free.

Most writers struggle with word choice because they try to use unfamiliar words. You might occasionally feel under pressure to use “fancy” or “smart” vocabulary. However, using words whose meanings you are unsure of could drastically alter your ideas Misspelling a word may also confuse readers. Consider the following before using a word that you are unsure of:

You might occasionally worry that making fewer errors in your writing will help you get a good grade. It is best to look up unfamiliar words in such circumstances. If you are not permitted to look them up, use a safer strategy and substitute a word you are familiar with.

Words can have a literal (denotative) meaning or a figurative (connotative, implied) meaning. If you’re describing where you live, for instance, you might use the terms “home,” “house,” or “residence.” ” These three words denote or indicate the same place. However, their connotative meaning is different. “Home” refers to a warmer place than “house. “Residence” probably evokes less emotion than the other two words.

Depending on what you are writing and who you are writing it for, words may have positive, negative, or occasionally neutral connotations. In an argumentative essay, for instance, informal words that might have a neutral or positive connotation in a letter to a friend might have a negative connotation. Assume your audience anticipates an academic tone in this lesson and the practice exercises that follow.

Writers must ensure that their audience is treated with respect and objectivity. You can achieve this by selecting your nouns and pronouns with care. For instance, readers will perceive your use of “he,” “him,” and “his” or “she,” “her,” and “hers” exclusively when you address people in general as biased. The following advice will assist you in writing essays without any gender bias:

An English sentence has a standard or canonical position for each of its constituent parts. Writers should be aware of this elemental hierarchy because choosing to follow it or deviate from it will draw readers’ attention to various parts of a sentence. Table 11 illustrates the canonical arrangement of elements in an English sentence. 2.

Although the canonical order of elements is preferred in English writing, you should not always write in this manner. It implies that this order should only be broken when there is a compelling reason to do so (such as to emphasize a point or to present older information first, etc.). ). The canonical order is a guideline rather than a strict instruction for writers.

When you emphasize crucial sentence components in your writing, like characters and actions, your sentences become clear to your readers and inevitably catch their attention. Characters are sentence elements that trigger actions or events. They may be concrete (a human being, an animal, or a piece of property) or abstract (a problem or a concept). Characters are usually nouns or pronouns. Actions describe what characters do or what events they trigger. Actions are expressed by verbs. These concepts are illustrated in the examples below:

Note how the readers’ focus is drawn to the abstract nouns “refusal” and “decision” in Example 1. Although it is possible to use abstract nouns as characters when writing about abstract issues, this example demonstrates that it can be unwise to do so when clear characters and their actions are absent.

The old-before-new principle dictates how information should be arranged in a sentence. This rule states that authors should introduce new information by using previously known information that readers already know. This idea guides readers from well-known or outdated information to fresh information. Analyze this first set of examples:

To achieve paragraph-level coherence, define your topic clearly. The topic is what you write about in a paragraph. You may already be aware that every paragraph needs to start with a topic sentence. It will be simpler for readers to understand a sentence if you can make it topical with regard to the subject. Readers will comprehend the topic and subject of a sentence more readily if they are in agreement, and as a result, your sentence will be more coherent. Compare examples 1 and 2 below:

It is not necessary to start with “it is important to note that.” If the information was not crucial, the author would not have included it. Additionally, if it is not required earlier as a transition or for emphasis, the time adverb “after years of discrimination and unheard appeals for justice” could be added after the main clause. In the example that follows, we’ll assume that it’s not actually required.

Coherence also depends on how writers organize their ideas. The thesis statement should serve as a road map outlining the structure of the essay to keep ideas organized. The introduction and body paragraphs, which are not directly related to the thesis statement, will be impacted by this pattern. This is why you should select the format that enhances your essay as a whole. Look at a few of the various organizational structures you could employ and what they are useful for:

When describing actions whose agents are obvious, unknown, or unimportant, the passive voice is very helpful. However, using the passive voice in an argumentative essay may cause your characters to appear at the ends of sentences, which may not be a powerful argumentative tactic. Active voice should be used in this situation, especially when actions come from visible characters.

To put characters in focus and give them more agency, we learned how to change nouns into verbs in this chapter’s section on sentence structure. De-nominalizing was what we practiced; we converted nouns into verbs. In contrast, a nominalization happens when a verb or an adjective is changed into a noun.

Analyzing tone through word choice | Reading | Khan Academy

What is style in writing?

The combination of techniques a writer employs, such as syntax, word choice, and tone, is known as style. Similar to tone, style can also vary based on audience. With a member of your team, for instance, you might use colloquial language and be laxer with grammar rules, but in customer memos, you might use persuasive language, impeccable grammar, and a friendly tone.

There are four primary writing styles, and you might employ any of them at work:


Expository writing is informational writing that aims to educate or inform the reader about a particular topic. When writing expository text, you might use figures, stories, charts, or comparisons. Examples of expository writing include how-to manuals or newspaper articles. In order to inform the reader, you can incorporate expository writing into a blog post’s main narrative. However, you must maintain your brand’s voice throughout.


Narrative writing is storytelling. You can either structure the writing like traditional narratives with a beginning, middle, and end, or you can include traditional story elements like setting, characters, and plot. When describing your company’s identity, future plans, and brand impact in relation to digital branding, this is crucial. As an illustration, if your business promotes healthy food options, you might include recipes. Writing a narrative involves recounting your first-ever experience preparing a particular dish. ,,, & & & & & & & & &


In order to accurately describe something, descriptive writing uses sensory details, figurative language, and specific information. An example of this is product descriptions. Instead of using narrative elements, the descriptions evoke memories and experiences in the audience. Consider writing descriptively on a business overview page. If you sell sweaters, you might mention the softness, breathability, and durability of your garments.


The goal of persuasive writing is to persuade the reader. Examples of persuasive writing include:

You must be succinct, to the point, and include a call to action. When selecting the appropriate tone, as with other types of writing, you should take your audience, message, and purpose into account. For instance, if your manager assigned you the task of finding new editing software, you could review five different options and submit a proposal outlining the benefits of a particular brand to your employer. You want to maintain a professional tone while being persuasive.

What is tone in writing?

Tone refers to a writer’s attitude toward the audience or the writing’s subject. For instance, you might keep a serious and expert tone when responding to an email complaint. Tone might be more informal if you are writing to a coworker you have known for many years You might think about the following when deciding on your tone at work:

The purpose

Identify the purpose of your email, post, or other content before writing it. When communicating successful sales results, think about using upbeat language and punctuation that changes the tone, such as exclamation points. Before you begin writing, decide on a purpose, and then go back and review it as if you were the recipient. This can aid you in determining whether your purpose is obvious and whether the tone supports it.

The audience

Your audience is the reader or readers of your writing. When writing to a customer for the first time, use a formal tone. As your relationship deepens with a repeat customer, use a conversational tone. Similar to purpose, define your audience prior to writing. If you write a social media post, your voice may be similar to other branded content you’ve published.

The message

The message is what you want the reader to take away from your writing, think about, or understand. If you want the recipient to know you are running behind schedule, use strong language like “we should finish this immediately,” or use softer language like “let’s check in on the status of this” if the deadline is drawing near. In this case, your goal in writing is to get a status update, and your message is intended to make your readers aware of your urgency. When writing blog posts, think about your message to ensure that readers will recall your brand after they’ve finished reading.

Differences between tone and style

Since tone is a component of style, tone and style fundamentally differ from one another. By using various stylistic decisions, you attempt to establish a specific tone in an email or piece of content. The tone is then decided by the reader in their interpretation of your writing. For instance, if you quickly draft an email with few sentences and many exclamation points, they might interpret it as having an urgent, tense, or frustrated tone. Even when communicating something objective, like statistics, the tone you choose to use in writing should reflect the content. While tone influences a piece of writing’s overall mood, the style reinforces its effectiveness.

Tips for using tone and style in your writing

Here are some pointers for writing more successfully at work by utilizing style and tone:

Be direct

To be direct in writing, use active language and express yourself clearly. Avoid using as few filler words as you can, along with prepositions and adverbs in the majority of cases. If you stray from the subject, think about giving your work one last look to make sure everything you included served its intended purpose. Even when writing in a direct manner, you can still sound friendly and upbeat.

Double check your tone

When reading your content, make sure your tone reflects your purpose and message You might open a casual email with “Hey” to a coworker, but doing so with a new or potential customer may come across as unprofessional. Single words can have significant effects on your message. For example, instead of using the word “small,” you might describe an apartment as “cozy.” “.

Determine point of view

Point of view is your relationship with what you say. While first person includes both you and the addressee in the content, second person addresses individuals directly. Think about how the sentences “You need to finish this by tomorrow” and “We need to finish this by tomorrow” differ in tone. Choose the perspective that best conveys your message in light of the situation.

Adapt with assignments

Finding the most effective way to convey your message in every piece of writing requires adjusting your tone and style. In one week, you could create formal emails, casual emails, blog posts, new product pitches, and advertising slogans. These require tone and style adjustments each time. Before you start writing, think about the tone’s elements and the style type to produce the most impactful work.

Edit tone and style

Make sure your text is clear and the information is presented in a logical order by editing your writing to ensure proper grammar and spelling. To get better at it, try writing three different meeting requests: one to your manager, one to a casual coworker, and one to an unfamiliar customer. Tone is affected by the words you use, from greetings to information you may include or omit. This can help you become more accustomed to style and tone and enhance your editing abilities.


What are examples of tones in writing?

18 Examples of Tone Words in Writing
  • Cheerful.
  • Dry.
  • Assertive.
  • Lighthearted.
  • Regretful.
  • Humorous.
  • Pessimistic.
  • Nostalgic.

How does style and tone affect writing?

Today we went over the 3 types of tone. Nonassertive, aggressive, and assertive.

What is tone of writing?

In contrast to the meaning of what is written, style is the manner in which something is written. In writing, however, the two are very closely linked. Style affects the reader’s perception of the information itself because it serves as the container for the text’s meaning. Style includes diction and tone.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *