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Chapter 11: Tone and Bias

Chapter 11: Tone and Bias. Active Reading Skills , 2/e Kathleen McWhorter Brette McWhorter Sember PowerPoint by Gretchen Starks-Martin. A writer’s tone is his or her attitude toward the subject. A writer’s bias is the expression of an unfair preference for or dislike toward a subject.

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Chapter 11: Tone and Bias

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  1. Chapter 11: Tone and Bias Active Reading Skills, 2/eKathleen McWhorter Brette McWhorter Sember PowerPoint by Gretchen Starks-Martin

  2. A writer’s tone is his or her attitude toward the subject. A writer’s bias is the expression of an unfair preference for or dislike toward a subject. Recognizing Tone and Bias

  3. Instructive Sympathetic Convincing Entertaining Nostalgic Outraged Six Commonly Used Tones See Table 11-1 for words frequently used to describe tone.

  4. The writer values his or her subject and thinks it is important for his or her readers. Information about the subject is presented in a straightforward, helpful manner. Example: When purchasing a piece of clothing, one must be concerned with quality as well as price. Be certain to check for the following: double-stitched seams, matched patterns, and ample linings. Instructive Tone

  5. The writer reveals sympathy or sorrow toward the subject. Example: The forlorn, frightened-looking child wandered through the streets alone, searching for someone who would show an interest in helping her find her parents. Sympathetic Tone

  6. The writer feels his or her ideas are correct and is urging the readers to accept them. Example: Child abuse is a tragic occurrence in our society. Strong legislation is needed to control the abuse of innocent victims. Convincing Tone

  7. The writer finds the subject light and amusing and wishes to share this with his or her readers. Example: Gas prices are climbing again. Driving to the gym is definitely out….besides walking builds character as well as muscle. Entertaining Tone

  8. The writer is thinking about past times or events. The writer is often sentimental. Example: Television is not what is used to be. There was a time when TV shows were truly entertaining and worthwhile. Nostalgic Tone

  9. The writer expresses anger and indignation toward something he or she finds offensive. Example: It is appalling that people sit on buses, talking loudly on their cell phones and expecting me to to listen to their ignorant conversations. Outraged Tone

  10. ASK: What feelings does the author reveal toward his or her subject? How is the writer trying to make me feel about the subject? What words reveal the writer’s feeling toward the subject? Identifying Tone See Table 11.1 for Words Frequently Used to Describe Tone.

  11. Tone and Connotative Meanings • Writers use particular words to convey tone. • Often these words have strong connotative meanings. • Example: He was extremely annoyed at his neighbor for cutting the lawn at 7:00 a.m. • See the box for Exercise 11-2 for examples of connotative words that describe tone.

  12. Through tone a writer can establish a sense of a shared communication with the reader. Or a writer may establish a distance from the reader. Tone:The Relationship Between the Writer and the Reader

  13. When someone says the opposite of what they mean, it is called irony. Example: “You want me to buy Girl Scout cookies? Sure, those will help me stay on my diet.” Understanding Irony and Sarcasm

  14. Irony is used to humorously or lightly criticize, or comment indirectly on an issue or situation. Example: “Americans respond well to reality TV. We should hold our presidential elections this way—voters could just call in their votes after each debate.” Understanding Irony and Sarcasm

  15. Sarcasm is a harsher, more bitter form of irony. It is intended to ridicule, mock or injure someone. Example: You remark to someone who has just come back from a haircut, “The barber shop was closed, huh?” Understanding Irony and Sarcasm

  16. When a writer or speaker deliberately presents a one-sided picture of a situation, it is known as bias. Bias refers to an author’s partiality, inclination toward a particular viewpoint, or prejudice. What is Bias?

  17. ASK: Is the author acting as a reporter (presenting facts) or as a salesperson (providing only favorable information)? Does the author feel strongly about or favor one side of the issue? Does the author seem to be deliberately creating a positive ornegative image? Does the author seem emotional about the issue? Are there other views toward the subject that the writer does not recognize or discuss? How to Detect Bias

  18. The author’s language and selection of facts also provide clues about his or her bias. Words with strong connotative (emotional) meanings or words that elicit an emotional response by the reader suggest bias. Example: Greenpeace is an organization dedicated to the preservation of the sea. Its ethic is nonviolent but its aggressiveness in protecting our oceans is becoming legendary. How to Detect Bias

  19. Evaluating Your Progress Use the “Critical Thinking-American Southwest” module in the Reading Skills section on the MyReadingLab Web site at http://www.ablongman.com/myreadinglab.

  20. For more practice visit the Companion Web Site http://www.ablongman.com/mcwhorter

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