What is Tone?
• In a simple way, tone is how the author feels
about the characters, the plot and the elements
of fiction that he or she is writing about. It is the
• Tone can be expressed by the author using
words, phrases, and sentences.
• It is not how you feel about what you are
reading, but how the author feels.
Maybe when you were young, your mom or dad
told you, “Young man (lady), do not take that tone
They picked up on your negative attitude and tried
to correct it right away!
• The author’s purpose also comes into play
when finding the tone of a piece of writing.
• There are several purposes for writing:
• To entertain
• To provide information
• To persuade
• To explain their ideas
• When the author writes, he/she must consider
his or her audience. In this case, it is a certain
• What do you believe William Golding’s purpose
was in writing The Lord of the Flies?
• Sticks & stones may break my bones…but
words can hurt!
• The author conveys their attitude by using
certain words. Let’s look at a list of tone words
and see if we can find some of these in the
passage in chapter seven.
• Look at the tone map and try to determine what
tone the author is conveying.
• After you do that, tell your teacher if he/she is
successful at conveying tone and what word
choices he/she uses to do this.
• Your teacher has a tone exercise for you in the
content page. Make sure you complete that
while the information is still fresh in your mind!