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3.5: The You Viewpoint and Tone

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    The you viewpoint is a way of writing so that the reader’s interest and perspective and foremost. The you viewpoint is based on the principle that most readers are naturally more concerned about their own needs than they are about those of a writer or of a business.

    The you viewpoint often, but not always, means using the words of you and yourrather than we, I, ormine. Below is an example that illustrates why using the you viewpoint is important.

    1. We must receive your signed approval before we can process your refund.
    2. So you can receive your refund promptly, please send your signed approval.

    Note how in sentence 2 the benefit to the reader is stressed, so the reader is more likely to act on behalf of the writer.


    One important thing to remember when communicating in professional contexts is to maintain a professional, positive tone. Keeping a positive tone will help you to maintain goodwill with all parties you are in communication with. In order to engage in a positive tone, you may want to avoid using pronouns entirely and so with this the you viewpoint may not be useful. If you use the you viewpoint in some situations, you may sound accusatory to your reader. The sample sentences below give an illustration of this accusatory tone.

    1. Accusatory tone: Your budget makes no allowance for consulting costs.
    2. Positive tone: The budget should include an allowance for consulting costs to meet all the concerns of the client.

    You can see how sentence 2 better achieves the purposes of communicating with your audience as the sentence does not blame the audience, but instead simply states in neutral terms what a budget should include.

    3.5: The You Viewpoint and Tone is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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