Objective: Factual, not personal, neutral, formal Tone



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6B- _____ Writing: Objective Tone Notes


Objective: Factual, not personal, neutral, formal

Tone: Sound, attitude
Objective Tone: In writing, objective tone refers to a “factual, impersonal, formal sound.” Objective language emphasizes the facts of an argument — not the personal opinions of the writer, not the reader, and not the writing itself. Basically, objective writing sounds factual, not personal. As a result, it tends to sound more formal, too.

Note: Objective tone might include opinions, but they will sound factual.
Choosing Tone: Before you write, you should consider the tone, or “sound,” that you want for your work. Consider these 2 factors when choosing tone:

  1. Audience: To whom are you writing? (Your friend, your community, etc.)

  2. Purpose: Why are you writing? (To convince, to entertain, to apply, etc.)

Use the directions for the assignment to help you figure out your audience and purpose. For example, if you’re asked to write a diary entry, then you should probably use subjective tone to give the entry a personal feel. If, on the other hand, you’re asked to write a news report, then you should probably use objective tone so your writing will draw attention to the news, rather than to you, the writer; to your reader; or to the writing itself. Also, consider your audience (readers). In other words, ask yourself who might read your work and how you would want them to react to it. Ask yourself, Should the tone be objective (factual) or subjective (personal) for this particular audience?
Remember: Tone refers to the way your writing sounds. Think of ways people use the word “tone”:

  • Tone of voice- The sound of your voice.

  • Leave a message at the tone- Leave a message at the sound of the beep.

  • Tone deaf- Unable to hear the pitch, or sound, of a musical note.

  • Ring Tone- The sound your phone makes when someone calls.

(over)

Examples of Assignments + Tone: Look at the table below to get a sense of the relationship between the directions for an assignment and a writer’s choice of tone.


Directions to Assignment

Probable Tone

Objective (Factual)

Subjective (Personal)

1. Write a poem on your personal website expressing your feelings about today’s weather.






2. Write a news report on recent changes in coral reefs.







3. Research immigration to the United States during the mid-1800’s, and then write an essay describing immigrants’ influence on American culture.







4. Write an essay for your teacher in which you describe what you have in common with a character from a book.







5. Write a paragraph for your teacher in which you use a character trait to describe a character from your book.







6. Write a diary entry in which you describe how you felt on your first day of school.







7. Summarize a current event for a class encyclopedia.







8. Write a newspaper column / editorial (opinion piece) in which you offer your view on current political news.







9. Write a newspaper article in which you report on the recent developments in the economy.







10. Write a commercial endorsing a product that you like.








To create OBJECTIVE tone, AVOID mentioning the three “r” sounds:


  1. The Writer: To create objective tone, don’t talk directly about yourself.

  2. The Reader: To create objective tone, don’t talk directly to your reader.

  3. The Writing: To create objective tone, don’t talk directly about your writing.

(next)


Examples of the Three “R” Sounds :

  1. Writer (1st person)

  • I think that…

  • In my opinion…

  • For me

  • I will now explain…




  1. Reader (2nd person)

  • If you think about it…

  • You will see that…

  • Your first thought might be…

  • Telling the reader to do (or not to do) something:

Ex: Take a chance and try something new.

***By giving directions, indirectly you are speaking to the reader. You are

saying “you” without actually saying it. The sentence above means, You

should take a chance and you should try something new.


  1. Writing (Rarely used at all, even with subjective tone)

  • This quote shows that…

  • In this quote

  • In this essay

  • To prove this

  • This example proves that

  • My next example will prove my point.

  • In conclusion…


Note: Often, a writer can change subjective tone to objective tone simply by

removing direct references to the writer, her reader, or her writing (the 3 R’s).



Ex: Notice that, by removing “I think that,” the writer has created objective tone:

Subjective Tone: I think Darth Vader is an evil character.

Objective Tone: Darth Vader is an evil character.

(over)


Directions: USE PENCIL. Look at each sentence provided. Then write the tone of this sentence, either objective (factual / formal) or subjective (personal / less formal). Underneath the sentence provided, re-write the sentence with the opposite tone, and then identify the tone of your re-written sentence. In other words, if the original sentence is written in subjective tone, re-write it in objective tone… or vice-versa.
Ex: I think that The Giver is an excellent book. Subjective

The Giver is an excellent book. Objective
1. In my opinion, baseball is a slow but engaging sport. __________________

_________________________________________________ __________________

2. Tom felt uneasy about attending the meeting. __________________

_________________________________________________ __________________

3. I chose to write about Zach Powers, who is conniving. __________________

_________________________________________________ __________________

4. Think twice before judging others. __________________

_________________________________________________ __________________

5. This quote proves that Evelyn is a cynical character. __________________

_________________________________________________ __________________

6. In conclusion, people often fight for what they believe. __________________

_________________________________________________ __________________

7. I think David struggled with his friendships. __________________

_________________________________________________ __________________

8. In this paragraph, I will prove to you that Maya is curious. __________________

_________________________________________________ __________________







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