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Definition of Tone:

Tone is the attitude of a writer/artist toward a subject. Tone is generally conveyed through the choice of words, or the viewpoint. Written and visual pieces have a central theme or subject matter. The manner in which a writer approaches this theme and subject is the tone. The tone can be formal, informal, serious, comic, sarcastic, sad, or cheerful, or it may be any other existing attitude.

Read about Stance (tone) on p. 66 in Norton Field Guide to Writing

For this discussion, complete one main post and two peer responses. For full participation credit, posts must occur on three or more days during the active week. First post should occur on or before Wednesday. See rubric for full assessment of discussion posts.

Post #1 Defining tone by analyzing details.

For your initial post, respond to all questions on written text and on visual texts (3 + 3 =6)

Read both selections:

Us and Them, David Sedaris, pp 883 – 889

Who is Malala? Malala Yousafzai, pp 900 – 905

For the Written Text answer the following questions:

  1. What is author’s purpose in each piece?
  2. Describe the tone of each story. Share a section of each that illustrates the tone and mood.
  3. Compare and contrast the two pieces. What elements are similar? What elements are different? Which is more effective in reaching the author’s purpose?

Visual Text:

  1. Compare and contrast the following portraits. You can identify them as Left, Middle, Right.
  2. Describe each one by using sensory details, the tone or mood the portraits present.
  3. Imagine who one of these men are and write a brief (two sentences) biography.

Straw hat portraits

For Your Peer Responses: Respond to two of your peers’ posts by commenting on your peer’s thesis and significant detail. Encouragement is welcome but try to do more than simply agree with their choice, ask a question, offer suggestions, share an example, or comment on the thesis or message. Minimum 150 words


  • For full participation credit, a minimum of three posts must occur on three or more days during the active week.
  • First post should occur on or before Wednesday.
  • All posts should include word count.
  • Posts discussing written texts should include quotes with APA in-text citation and reference.
  • See Discussion Rubric Discussion Rubric – Alternative Formats for full assessment of discussion posts

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