31 How Will Your Reader Respond to This Tone?

Why should tone and voice be considered?

Writers should consider the audience and purpose of each assignment and be cognizant of the tone and voice they use to communicate with their readers. Sensitivity to the audience’s stance on a particular topic will affect their perception of the writer as the argument unfolds; a respectful tone is more likely to reach the audience than one that is condescending.

When the goal is to persuade an audience with an opposing view, empathetic writers think carefully about how their tone and voice will affect their readers.

Consider these questions related to tone and voice:

  • What is the writing’s stance? Is the intent to inform or to persuade?
  • What tone and voice is most appropriate for the target audience?
  • Are the tone and voice respectful?
  • How can the content be presented so it is informative and persuasive but not condescending?
  • What words demonstrate sensitivity to the audience’s views and feelings?
  • Have any insensitive words or examples been presented that are likely to cause offense to the readers?

 For additional information about tone:

  • Consider Your Voice, Tone, and Persona


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