Importance of Tone in Professional Writing

             

In professional writing, tone is as essential as content. Because how you approach a topic impacts the reader, maintaining an appropriate and professional tone in writing is vital. Dana Driscoll , author of “ Tone in Business Writing ,” says, “The tone of a message is a reflection of the writer and it does affect how the reader will perceive the message.” The article asks writers to develop the professional tone in their writing by asking the following questions before they write.

  • Why am I writing this document?
Before you begin to write, determine the purpose of the document. “You should take time to consider the purpose of your document in order to determine how you should express the message you wish to convey,” Driscoll advises. “When you consider the message and how you wish to express it, the tone of your message will become apparent.”  Understanding why we’re writing and what we hope to achieve, in addition to why the reader is reading, can go a long way toward helping us establish proper tone before writing. 
  • Who am I writing to and what do I want them to understand?
In addition to understanding the purpose, ensure that the audience also understands the document’s purpose. “You can help your readers to understand which of your ideas you consider most important by using emphasis and subordination,” Driscoll suggests. Readability studies tell us that emphasis can be created by ensuring that the most important information is first in the sentence or paragraph and by using formatting and visual cues such as headings and bullets.
Driscoll notes, “A competent writer will match the needs and abilities of [his/her] reader and find the most effective way to communicate with a particular reader.” An important factor in ensuring reader understanding is to write from the reader’s perspective.
  • What kind of tone should I use?

After determining purpose and audience, use a confident and sincere tone to attract and keep your reader’s attention . “You can feel confident if you have carefully prepared and are knowledgeable about the material you wish to express,” Driscoll says, adding, “It is important to strive for sincerity in tone because without sincerity, politeness can sound condescending.” Because your readers may not know you, creating a sincere and honest presence is crucial.
Managing tone can be difficult but, with practice, you can enhance your professional tone in writing and increase your credibility. If you need help creating a professional tone, contact us for information about our customized onsite courses or enroll in one of our various online courses .

 
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