GP Essay Skills - Paper 2 - Author's Intention Purpose Tone Attitude

4. AUTHOR’S INTENTION/PURPOSE, TONE & ATTITUDE

Question Types:

- What is the author’s intention/purpose is stating this?

- What is the author’s tone?

- What is the author’s attitude on the issue?

Task:

- Discern the author’s attitude (stand/position) on a given issue and his tone (how he conveys his attitude)

- Note: While the author’s tone and attitude may be congruent, they do not necessarily have to be.

- Eg (a) Author’s tone may be humourous, but attitude towards the issue may actually be scornful.

- Eg (b) Author may disagree with the belief that green consumerism will solve environmental problems but his tone could be either skeptical, doubtful, disbelieving, incredulous, subversive, or even mocking

- Common types of tone: Sarcastic, critical, cynical, humorous, condescending, contemptuous etc.

Examples:

i. Why does the writer use the analogy, “We are burning the floorboards of our house to keep warm?” (AJC Prelim 2007)

Ans. The writer wants to criticise/indict/warn/ intends to show how foolish/ illogical/ short-sighted/unrealistic mankind is. OR The writer is trying to show that mankind is suicidal/ self-destructive.

ii. Words Associated with Tone

POSITIVE

NEGATIVE

NEUTRAL

admiring/ laudatory

amused

approving

compassionate

joyful

judicious

modest/ unassuming/ humble

optimistic

thoughtful

philosophical/ reflective

respectful

earnest

sincere

factual

frank/ honest/ candid

forgiving

humorous

informative

impartial

supportive

tolerant

witty/ humorous/ ironic

arrogant

bitter/ angry/ resentful/ hostile

brusque

callous

world-weary

condescending

confused/ befuddled

critical

disparaging

cynical

skeptical

pessimistic

disapproving

disdainful

disheartened

dejected

sarcastic

lamenting/ sorrowful

malicious

mocking

naïve

nasty/ abusive

pessimistic

resentful

sarcastic

satirical

flippant

hypocritical

insulting

intolerant

irrelevant

scorning/ biting/caustic

self-pitying

whining/ aggrieved/ complaining

aloof

ambivalent

cautionary

concerned/ worried

defensive

detached

didactic

disbelieving

dispassionate

ironic

joking

nostalgic

pensive

remorseful

evasive

grudging

indifferent

impassioned

indignant

sentimental

serious/ grave/ grim

shocked

solemn/ dignified

sympathetic

unemotional

urgent

whimsical

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