eLearning Videos for Kids and Elementary Students

Key Point: Writers often use a positive, negative, or neutral tone.

An author’s tone is the attitude the author has about a subject or toward the reader. Tone is typically conveyed through the words and phrases that the author uses. In this lesson, we are going to look at three general types of tone: positive, negative, and neutral. When an author uses a positive tone, they are normally in favor of the subject they are writing about. The author will use positive words or attempt to convince the reader in an energetic or enthusiastic way. Here is a statement about summer, written in a positive tone. “Summer is the most exciting time of the year!” Not only does the author use the word, exciting, but they also put the adverb, most, in front of it to convey just how exciting summer is to them. Sometimes, however, writers will take a negative tone about the subject of their writing or toward the reader. When an author is using a negative tone, they typically are showing anger or dislike for something and choose words that reveal it. Here is another sentence about summer, only this time written with a negative tone. “Summer heat is so miserable that you can’t enjoy being outside.” Notice how the writer shows their negative tone in a couple of ways. First, they use the word, miserable, to describe summer, and then they also include the idea that you “can’t enjoy” summer. Finally, an author will sometimes write with a neutral tone. A neutral tone simply does not show any form of positive or negative attitude about a subject. Often, the author lists facts or details. Here is a sentence about summer written with a neutral tone. “The season of summer occurs during the months of June, July, and August.” As you can see, the author did not show attitude either way. Only details about summer were stated. There are many ways that writers can show tone, but three very common ways are positive, negative and neutral.

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