Style, Tone, & Word Choice
Have you ever heard the saying “Choose your words carefully”? This piece of advice holds true in writing. Your words choice, or the words you use to express your ideas, can greatly affect how your audience will respond to your writing.
Word choice is an important part of your writing style. Just like you have a unique speaking voice, you have your own writing style. In fact, it is often called a writer’s “voice.” Style is created not only through the individual words you use, but also through the kinds of sentences you construct.
Two of the most commons styles are formal and informal. A formal style is characterized by language that is proper. Events are described in a serious way. The write uses complete sentences, and they might be long and complex.
An informal style is more personal, casual, and conversational. The writer might use slang, or colorful words and phrases from everyday speech. The writer might also use sentence fragments instead of complete sentences.
Choose a style that suits the purpose of your writing. The purpose is your reason for writing. If you are writing a history report or a letter to a school official, use a formal tone. If you are writing a fictional story, an informal tone may be more effective or interesting.
Word choice also helps to create the writer’s tone. Tone is the writer’s attitude toward his or her subject. A writer’s tone might be positive or negative, serious or funny. It is important to keep the same tone throughout your writing.
Another thing to remember is to choose precise, or specific, words to express your ideas. Choosing precise nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs will help you express your ideas more clearly to your reader. Using a dictionary or a thesaurus is a great way to select just the word you need!