All terms

What is Tone?

Tone refers to the writer's attitude or feeling towards the subject matter.

The Writing Mood: A Closer Look at Tone

Tone is the way a writer approaches their work, expressing their attitude and emotions towards the subject matter.

Usually identified through word choice or syntax, tone can convey a wide range of moods, from joyful and lighthearted to melancholic and ominous. It’s what makes a story feel dry, or intriguing, or even creepy.

Knowing how to effectively establish tone is a crucial tool in any writer's toolbox.

Tone in Literature: Examples and Analysis
Tone plays a crucial role in the way literature is written and interpreted. Here are two examples of how authors have used tone to convey their message in different ways.
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

In his satirical novel, Heller uses a sardonic tone to highlight the absurdities of war and bureaucracy during World War II.

His writing is clever and often funny, but the underlying message is serious and critical of the way people in power handle things. Examples of this tone can be found in the characters' dialogues and in the overall narration.

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Poe uses a melancholic and ominous tone in his famous poem to convey the narrator's sense of dread and despair.

The repetitive language and eerie imagery create an unsettling feeling throughout the entire piece, keeping the reader on edge until the very end.