English & EAL

195 Language Analysis Tones

Lisa Tran

October 21, 2012

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Updated on 11/12/2020

[Modified Video Transcription]

Hey guys, welcome to another week of Lisa's Study Guides. Thank you so much to everyone who came to the VCE expo that happened last Thursday through to Sunday. It was so great meeting so many of you - I really did not expect this many of you to rock up and say hi, but I'm so grateful that you did. So, thank you again so much! It just reinforces that what I'm doing is being really helpful to you guys, and I'm so glad! I'm going to keep going with this. I'm going to keep making sure that I offer you guys amazing English tips on this channel. So, hit that subscribe button below (check out our YouTube channel here), if you do support, and make sure you tell your friends about it as well, because the more love we can share, the more we help each other out.

Today we're going to be talking about tones. You might be interested in looking at tones because you are analyzing articles, but sometimes we're also looking at tones when it comes to the author's writing style when it comes to texts. 

So, What Is a Tone and Why Is It Important? 

A tone is essentially the attitude that an author takes towards their piece. What is really important is that you realise that there's a difference between tone and mood.

Mood has to do more so with the reader's response to an article, whereas tone is the approach that the author has towards the piece. 

It's definitely tricky trying to identify tones, but there are a few things that you can ask yourself to help steer yourself in the right direction. 

First thing is: does the author have a positive or negative attitude towards a certain idea? For example, if the author says, 'I can't wait to go to this party' (said in an enthusiastic tone), as opposed to saying, 'I can't wait to go to this party' (said in a sarcastic tone), who do you think is more excited about the party? Probably the first one. In this case, it's been a little bit easier because you see visually how I approached it, but if you just listen to what I've said, the first tone is immersed with a lot more enthusiasm, whereas the second one is sarcasm. Just remember that even though I said it was enthusiasm and sarcasm, if you yourself interpreted it differently than that is okay. 

Remember with English, as always, there's not always that one perfect answer. Everyone interprets things differently. It's just a matter of you being able to back it up with your own evidence and your own explanation of why you've come to this certain tone.

So, any form of human emotion can ultimately be translated into a tone. So, whether that is being nostalgic, honoured, sentimental, condescending - these are all tones. And, there are actually so many tones that I've linked a link down below that goes to my blog (if you’re reading this you’re already on our blog!) that includes 195 tones you can choose from. I've also separated these turns into positive, neutral and negative tones and divided them yet again, depending on the type of emotion in order to help steer you in the right direction in picking out a tone amongst all the many, many tones that are available out there. 

One more additional tip is that authors can also change their tone. So these can be called tonal shifts, or shifts in tone. An author might not start a book with the same tone and finish it with that same tone - so much has happened throughout the entire book or the event, or maybe even if it's just an article, depending on what they're talking about, they can change their tones. Don't get tripped up by that, acknowledge that sometimes throughout a piece there will be modifications. And, if you're able to pick that up, then that goes a really long way when showing off your efforts to your teachers or examiners. 

So, just as a heads up, these tips that I've spoken about are all in our ebook How To Write A Killer Language Analysis. If you're keen to find out more about tones, then go ahead and check it out. There's more there, more examples to help test you, to see whether you're on the right track, more questions that you need to ask yourself to find the right tone and what you can do with tonal changes.

I'm also going to do something a little bit different today, I'll write down three different sentences and I want you guys to interpret them your own way and tell me what tones do you think they are? I think this will be a fun exercise to bring our community together. And I'd just love to see what you guys have to say. I'll check in with you guys next time!

Alright, let's see what different tones you identify from these sentences:

1. Check out my new shoes, I just got them yesterday!

2. It was long since I had returned to this place; the memories washed over me wave after wave. 

3. It is imperative that we initiate fair laws for all workers!

List of Tones for Language Analysis

We've all struggled with identifying tones for language analysis. So, I've compiled an assortment of tones you can choose from, categorised into their 'intensities'! For a detailed guide on Language Analysis including how to prepare for your SAC and exam, check out our Ultimate Guide to VCE Language Analysis.

Love this? You can download the PDF version here.
Download 195 Language Analysis Tones PDF

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