Essay 2: Tone and the Presence of the Writer in The Highest Tide
Goals/Background: Our second essay offers an opportunity to utilize your reading, writing, and analytic skills to thoughtfully consider how other writers approach writing. By studying tone, you’ll be able to see more clearly how even small choices in an author’s work—and in your own writing—can make a big difference in terms of how readers perceive your ideas and the person you create on the page.
Specifically, this assignment focuses on the ways that the personality of the writer comes through via tone and how this presence of the author helps to clarify/convey his or her theme to the reader. The following quotation about tone will serve as our starting point:
As a writer, you are learning control of tone as you learn to take pains in your choice of words, in the way you arrange sentences, and even in the punctuation marks you may find yourself changing in your final draft. These skills will pay off doubly if you apply them to your reading…. As a reader, you must make some effort to “hear” the writer’s tone as part of the meaning the words communicate… listen for the sound of the voice so that you can respond to the persona—the personality or character the author presents in his or her writing. (Barnet 209)
Have you ever had someone tell you that they didn’t like/appreciate your tone of voice? Why was that? What was your tone like? How did you create that tone with your voice, your expression, and your body? Or have you ever spoke to someone in a loving tone? How did you do that? So, the thing about writing is that you have to figure out how to create those tones on the page. We’re going to look at how the author of The Highest Tide created one or more tones in the book with his style of writing.
Reading: Read the “Tone Analyis” chapter that is posted in Module Two on Canvas; I think you will find this chapter very helpful in terms of understanding the use of tone. Pick from the adjectives listed in this chapter to describe Lynch’s tone(s).
Assignment: develop a thesis which offers an analysis of The Highest Tide by interpreting how the book’s voice and tone help to convey the author’s (Lynch’s) theme. In the body of your essay you will discuss the literary elements/style choices that Lynch uses to create his voice and tone.
For your tone analysis of The Highest Tide, use chapter 1 (pp. 1 -8) and the first three pages of chapter 7: pp. 44-45. If there is another section of the book that you would like to use for your analysis, please ask me.
An analysis of tone takes into consideration such factors as the author’s intended purpose and audience, the meaning of the work, and the author’s attitude towards the subject and the audience. The tone in the work may shift, or it may stay the same throughout the work. For more ideas on tone/voice and the organization of your essay, see the “Thinking About Tone” section which appears later in this handout and the tone analysis chapter and sample essay posted on Canvas.
Thesis: Your thesis statement for this essay will need to clarify two points: what you interpret to be the theme of the excerpts from The Highest Tide that you’re analyzing, and how the author’s tone/voice helps to convey that theme to the reader through the use of literary elements and stylistic choices. The author’s theme may be implied rather than directly stated, and you’ll need to back up your interpretation of what you think is the author’s theme by using solid reasoning, evidence, and explanation.
In your thesis describe the author’s tone with one or more of the adjectives listed in the “Tone Analysis” chapter in module two.
To describe the theme in your thesis, remember that a theme is a complete sentence, not a word or a fragment. Think of theme like advice someone might give you about life.
So your thesis might look something like this: “In her novel My Disney Life: The Untold Story, Minnie Mouse creates a passionate tone via sentence structure and word choice to pass judgment on Mickey Mouse and communicate the theme that one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch—choose carefully.
Got it? In essay one you analyzed how literary devices/poetic elements helped to convey or emphasize the theme: literary devices = theme. In this essay, you will analyze how literary devices help to create a tone, which, in turn, helps to communicate the theme of the book. So we have added one more step in essay two: literary devices = tone = theme. It may be helpful to think of this essay as a cause and effect essay: certain literary devices created a tone, which, in turn helped to create a theme.
Body paragraphs: As in essay one, most of your body paragraphs will focus on analyzing literary elements. This time you will claim in your topic sentences how the author’s use of the element created the tone and how that tone helped you understand the theme. In your paragraphs you will give evidence from the book showing how and where the literary device was used, and you will analyze that evidence. Do not stray from the claim>evidence>commentary structure.
Minimum 1400 words.
Discussion of a minimum of two literary elements that help to establish the tone/voice of the author and convey the theme.
One other source in addition to The Highest Tide.
Thinking About Tone (Prewriting Tips for Essay 2). By analyzing tone in a literary work, we are looking closely at the author’s style to pick up ideas about the author’s attitude and feelings toward his or her subject and audience. This can include an analysis of the following literary elements:
Word Choice: Why does the author choose particular words? What do the specific words mean—what are their denotations (dictionary meanings) and connotations (emotional and other associations that words create)? Does the author use abstractions? Does he or she use concrete (sensory) details to convey his or her ideas?
Diction: What level of diction does the author use? Levels range from formal to ordinary to slang.
Sentence Structure: Does the author use short and direct sentences or longer and more detailed ones? Do the sentences seem concise or more flowery? Sentences might feel journalistic, meditative, etc.
Imagery: What images does the author use, and do the descriptions of the images create positive or negative ideas about the subject in the mind of the reader? Sensory imagery refers to the senses of see, smell, hear, taste, touch.
Figurative Language: If the author uses similes or metaphors, do these comparisons suggest positive or negative ideas?
Irony: Is there some uncertainty or doubt because of two different levels of meaning? Often the opposite of what is said or intended turns out to be the real meaning or situation.
Note: you are not limited to the above literary elements for your analysis, but they are often the main style choices an author uses to convey theme. You can also use any of the literary devices (poetic elements) that we discussed for essay one.
Ideas for Organizing Your Essay: For Essay 2, your assignment is to consider how the author’s use of tone helps to clarify his or her theme. You might divide your essay into sections to look at how the author’s use of some of the different elements mentioned above help to create an overall tone. You might describe how and why an author shifts tone in the essay and explain what makes the shift apparent. You might divide your essay into two parts, one which focuses on the author’s theme and another which focuses on tone in relation to the theme. You might have other ideas; these are just a few to get you started.
Also, take a look at the “Tone Analysis” chapter (in the next homework assignment) and the suggestions for writing about tone at the end of the chapter. The sample essays at the end of this chapter can also give you some good ideas for structuring your essay.
Remember! I won’t grade your essay unless you use correct MLA formatting.
In addition to the above requirements, your essay should contain:
An original title that signals the thesis of your essay. Extremely important. See this link on how to write a good title: http://www.ehow.com/how_7931583_write-good-essay-title.html
An engaging introduction that leads into your thesis statement.
A fully-developed thesis statement that provides the focus and outline for the rest of your essay.
Clear, full topic sentences as the first sentence of each body paragraph. The topic sentence must relate to the thesis: the literary elements that created the tone(s) and the theme.
Fully-developed paragraphs that stay on topic.
Evidence in the form of excerpts from The Highest Tide that are blended into your own sentences using signal phrases—please review the “Integrating Sources” section in A Writer’s Reference if you’re having trouble with this.
Logical flow of thought from one idea to the next.
An effective conclusion that answers the “So What?” of your essay.
A Work Cited list. See the handouts on Canvas and the MLA section in A Writer’s Reference.
Drafts. The following excerpt is from our syllabus:
Please note: All drafts for essays are required in order to earn any credit for the essay assignments; final essays will not be evaluated for credit if you do not satisfactorily complete all of the required drafts. In short, I will not accept or evaluate a final essay from you unless I have previously read satisfactory drafts of your essay. In addition, drafts that are submitted late will negatively impact the final essay grade. Please make time allowances for potential computer mishaps, possible sudden illnesses etc. If you are having problems completing a draft by the due date, contact me as soon as possible so that I can assist you.
Guidelines for Revision
Clarify your main idea or interpretation. Your thesis—the main point of your interpretation—should be stated early in your essay. The thesis is often the last sentence in the first paragraph.
Support each claim with specific examples and evidence. Do not be satisfied with one piece of evidence. Find as many bits of evidence as possible. The case for your interpretation grows stronger with each additional piece of evidence.
Explain how each piece of evidence supports your interpretation. Do not just cite several pieces of evidence and go on to your next point. Explain for your readers how the evidence supports your interpretation. Go into detail!
Signal the major parts of your interpretation. Let your readers know when you shift to a new point. Connect one paragraph to the next by using transition words to indicate sequence (such as first, second, next, another, last, finally, and so forth) and by repeating key words and ideas. Other useful transitions in a comparsion and contrast essay are on the other hand, also, both, yet, although, unlike.
Revise your essay for sentence clarity and conciseness. Please proofread carefully, as errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling affect the tone of your essay and do count against your final grade. Read your essay aloud or have someone else read it aloud to you. Eliminate unnecessary repetition. Use active verbs. Rework awkward or confusing sentences.
Edit your essay. Check your essay for correct spelling, word choice, punctuation, and grammar.
Name: Institution: Professor: Course: Date Tone and the Presence of the Writer in the Highest Tide Introduction Some of the sure signs that a 13 years old teenager is inhibiting your space include the frequent slamming of the doors and tantrums that make you go wild for the terrible troubles. Occasionally, the teens outpour love and excitement in particular instances where the car keys or money is given, with all of these outbursts considered a normal incidence in their lives. I remember when once a toddler tested my limits by trying my patience to watch my reactions. This made me realize that the only things that change are the size of the child in question. The highest tide details the story of a protagonist 13-year-old Miles who grew up and learned how to deal with daily social change just like any other teenager in the society today. The author`s theme in this book is directed towards pointing out to the element of change that occurs in the course of life that we may not help but learn to deal with in our encounters. Miles life, just as the life of any teenager is depicted under the guard