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mini bon bon
Registered User
(11/29/07 4:16 pm)

tone of voice in essay
Hello.
I am having trouble finding a tone of voice for writing essays. And to me the tone of voice is what sets up the paper, therefore the paper is hard to write. Although I have read multiple essays and books, I cannot seem to find my own tone in which to start writing.

It seems that because I dictate to myself when I type that I have too conversational of a voice, whereas when I try to stick to the basics, following the suggested format, my writing becomes to dry and the tone too stiff and pedantic.

how have you managed to find a Happy medium? Or have you just followed the format and gotten to dry and stiff?
I am not much of an essayist so any tips and suggestions to make my papers flow easier would be helpful.

Laughingwriter
Registered User
(11/30/07 5:48 pm)

Re: tone of voice in essay

I always pretend I am a character. If you make a character in your head beforehand, then you can say it in 'their' tone of voice...

A lot of it is the language you use. If you use big, long words it will sound like a dictionary-loving person, if you use words with a lot of "L"s or "R"s it sounds more poetic, if you use short words, with clipped sentences, it sounds more informal and 'diary-like'...

What do you *want* it to sound like? If I knew that it would be easier to give you suggestions...

:rollin

MaryCatelli
Registered User
(11/30/07 8:44 pm)


Re: tone of voice in essay
Are there any essayists you admire for their tone?

Try to write a pastiche of their work: pick a topic and try to write the essay that essayist would have written on it.

You may end up with a fourth-rate imitiation, but even fourth-rate imitiations of good stylists teach you a great deal about how to get the words to do what you want them to do, get them to stop ambling about the circus ring delivering the facts and instead jump through hoops while doing it.

mini bon bon
Registered User
(12/4/07 10:11 pm)


thanks
I finished the essay and what I was stuck on was how to introduce my topic without sounding like I was telling a story.
I tend to sound like a storybook in real life, when you talk to me. I always describe things in detail using those big words saved for special occasions, like majestic or grand.
My essay was on old women as enablers in fairy tales. And I had to cite secondary examples while still explaining the concept to the audience.
This is my opening paragraph which I then use to transition into an explanation of the importance of women in the past and the transformation of women through time, with wise old women as remnants of these cultures.

"Wise women in fairy tales are a conundrum. They are important figures in fairy tales, showing up as toothless old hags and good fairies. They are both evil witches bent on devouring young children or they can be the gruff but kind mothers who ask the hero's questions of the supernatural being. They show up at the right time, providing counsel, or gifts. They forward the plot. They help the protagonist through the uncertainty of their future to a happy ending. They can do this because they are third manifestation of the Goddess, which has pervaded multiple mythologies, such as the Celtic, ancient Roman and Greek mythologies."


It didn't turn out the way I imagined it, but it makes the cross between reciting fact voice and story telling voice. And now that I look at it the repetition makes it very story like.
Next time I will use your advice and pick someone's style to manipulate for my own. I knew a painter who was in one of my basic art classes and she would copy a different style every time she had an assignment which was just awesome to see.

Thank you for your advice
Happy holidays.

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