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Tone and Purpose

Summary:

The resources in this section are designed to help the reader better understand the concept of Audience when writing in English for North American, academic audiences. 

Contributors:Elena Shvidko
Last Edited: 2013-08-15 01:13:11

Tone

Along with the different language that you use depending on your reader, the tone of your writing should be appropriate for your audience as well. Your tone reflects your attitude towards the subject you are writing about and the readers you are writing to. For example, if you are composing an email to your professor, you cannot be rude, but you need to be polite and formal. You should use the language that shows your respect to the professor and his or her status. 

In addition, you should also consider the context in which your audience will receive your message and use the appropriate tone accordingly. For instance, when submitting a scholarship application or a grant proposal you should remember that it will be reviewed by several readers in an academic setting.

Purpose 

The purpose of your written work should be clear to those who will read it. Ask yourself what it is that you want to communicate to your audience and check your draft to see if you achieved your goal. At the same time, you should also think about what you want your audience to take away from your written work. Do you want to raise their awareness of a certain issue?  Do you want to engage them in the discussion? Is your purpose to provoke their thoughts on the problem you are addressing?

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