Some common tones in writing are funny, serious, happy, sad, formal, informal, positive and negative. A piece of writing can shift from one tone to another or it can remain consistent throughout. Overall, however, the writing should maintain a balanced tone that reflects the writer’s purpose. In other words, what is the writer hoping to accomplish by writing this?
The three common purposes of writing are --
- Writing to persuade. In a written piece that’s meant to persuade, the writer’s main purpose is to sway his or her readers to take a specific action or draw a certain conclusion through convincing argument. Two examples here are advertisements and political speeches.
- Writing to inform. The main purpose here is to enlighten or educate the reader about a topic. Some examples of informative writing are instructions, textbooks, and expository essays.
- Writing to entertain: The writer’s primary purpose here is to provide enjoyment through text. Common examples are fiction and poetry.
It’s important to remember that these purposes aren’t mutually exclusive; at times they merge. For example, writing that is meant to persuade can also inform. Along the same line, writing that is meant to inform can serve to entertain. Again, it all depends on the writer’s purpose and the tone he or she uses to deliver it.
Sincerity and honesty are a must in writing professional documents. Be sure to choose words that project these traits. The same can be said for optimism. Delivering bad news is a part any professional setting, but it is possible to deliver it in an optimistic fashion. Again, it is all in the writer’s tone.
Finally, stay away from lofty language. Using big words can seem like the writer is talking down to his or her readers. It is always best to use plain, concise language.
Using the appropriate tone in workplace writing is key to conveying the intended message. When determining the appropriate tone, remind yourself of the document’s purpose, audience, and desired outcome. Keeping these factors in mind will help you to identify the most appropriate tone to use for writing any professional document.