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4.2: CREATING TONE AND MOOD WITH THOUGHTFUL DICTION

  • Page ID
    13871
  • Much of how we comprehend comes from not only what is communicated, but alsohow it is communicated. This sentence, for example, can mean a number of things depending upon which word is stressed.

    I never said he took my cupcake.

    1. I never said he took my cupcake.

    2. I never said he took my cupcake.

    3. I never said he took my cupcake.

    4. I never said he took my cupcake.

    5. I never said he took my cupcake.

    6. I never said he took my cupcake.

    7. I never said he took my cupcake.

    TONE AND MOOD

    One of the ways writers create feeling (tone and mood) with their writing by thoughtful use of word choice (diction.) Additionally, writers use sentence structure and word order to emphasize certain tones and moods.

    Tone describes an attitude: the attitude of the author toward the audience or topic, or in fiction, the attitude of a character regarding the readers or the storyline.

    Mood is specifically a feeling created by the writing.

    The important thing about tone/mood is that it serves to strengthen the connection between author and audience. Readers who are attentive to tone/mood are better able to analyze the author’s perspective and are able to make more accurate inferences about the author’s message. Authors use tone to give their writer’s voice some personality and in some cases, authority – which helps readers to care one way or the other about the message. The mood created in a text is designed to elicit a response from the reader. In this way, tone/mood strengthen and deepens communication between author and audience.

    Use feeling words to describe tone and mood. (Do an online search for “Mood and Tone Words.)

    DICTION

    One of the subtle ways authors create their writing style is by their use of diction.Diction is another way of saying 'word choice.' If someone tells you that you have 'good diction,' they're saying that you have a good vocabulary and you use it well. Diction is something to pay attention to when you are reading, listening, speaking or writing.

    Activity:

    Read the article, What Words Can and Cannot Do by Richard L Weaver, III. (Weaver)

    Imagine you needed to read this text for an Interpersonal Communications Class. Use the reading process to do the following:

    Get Ready to Read

    • Guide questions, predictions or prior knowledge.

    • Highlight or underline keywords

    Read

    • Read once without marking up
    • Read a second time for main ideas & supporting details

    Analyze

    • Author’s Purpose

    • Organizational Pattern

    • Organize the information in a useful way (notes, graphic organizer)

    • Summarize the information using a strategy we have learned in this class.

    Subtleties

    • Inference Chart & Summary Statement
    • Tone/Mood

    • Diction/Word Choice

    We will compare our analyses in class.

    A WORD ABOUT FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE

    Much of our work here has been around academic texts, which emphasize literal language. Yet, literature is also an element of academia, not to mention that much literature is read and written simply for one’s own pleasure, so it is worthy of our attention. Much literature and other descriptive texts use figurative language. Here are some elements you will want to pay attention to when you are reading your assigned novel for this course and other texts:

    Activity:

    After the figurative language lecture, complete the table with examples from the novel you are reading for this class.

    Term

    page63image10238784page63image10234752Definition

    Example

    Tone

    page63image10225728page63image10228224Attitude conveyed to the reader through the text. page63image24876288

     

    Diction

    How the author uses word choice to communicate their point of view.

     

    Mood

    page63image10401664page63image10390144The feeling the reader gets from the tone and diction the author uses in the text.

    (Feeling words: Sad, Mad, Bad, Glad, and variations etc.)

    Literal Language or Denotation

    The dictionary definition of a word(s).

     

    Connotation

    The social overtones, cultural or emotional meanings of a word(s)

     

    Figurative Language

    Describing something by making a comparison to something else.

     

    Simile

    A comparison using words such as “like” or “as”

     

    Metaphor

    A direct comparison NOT using “like” or “as”

     

    Oxymoron

    A word combining two words that have opposite meanings

     

    Personification

    Giving human traits to non-human creatures, things or ideas.

     

    Hyperbole

    Exaggerating to show strong effect.

     

    Understatement

    An expression with less emphasis than expected (Opposite of a Hyperbole)

     
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