Tone, also known as register, relates to how grammar, words, and phrases are chosen for a piece of writing in order to make it fit for its intended setting. The tone or register of a piece of academic writing will thus be determined by the type of writing required. For example, an essay has a specific structure that determines what kind of language is appropriate for it. Similarly, a speech requires you to use a certain level of formality when addressing the audience.
In terms of style, academic writing tends to be more formal than non-academic writing. This means that using proper names, abbreviations, and acronyms is important for academic essays. Using quotation marks is also recommended for academic texts.
Academic writing is usually given in a scholarly style, which means that it uses complex vocabulary and sentences. When writing for an academic audience, it's important to use appropriate terminology. Avoid using colloquial language or mixing genres within one text; this will reflect poorly on your work.
There are two main ways of achieving a scholarly style: using footnotes and citations or employing common nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Footnotes and citations are essential in academic writing because they allow readers to find out more information about a topic. They can also help with referencing, which is necessary in many academic fields. Using common words instead of scientific ones will also help to create a scholarly style.
"The amount of formality in a piece of writing is defined by the register." It differs slightly from what we could term "tone" or "style." It might be viewed as a sliding scale, ranging from formal language (such as a legal document) to casual language (for example, a text message to a friend).
The formal register is used in written documents that need to be correct, accurate, and not open to interpretation. This includes scientific papers, essays, reports, reviews, and letters. The informal register is used in written documents that do not have to be correct, accurate, or without ambiguity. For example, an article in a magazine would use the informal register because they do not want their readers to think that they are claiming accuracy for ideas expressed therein.
The goal of using the formal register is to achieve clarity in communication. Use of the informal register may lead to confusion if not done properly, so it is important to identify which register is needed for any given piece of writing.
As with many things in life, there is no single right way to use the registers. But understanding how they work will help you communicate more effectively when writing.
Tone refers to the "emotional tone" of the writing, which, in most cases, must be serious and factual in order to be effective in technical writing. However, the tone must be acceptable for the audience. For example, if you are writing for a general readership, then your tone should be more factual and less emotional than if you were writing for a psychoanalytic journal.
Tone can be expressed through words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and even chapters. The beginning of a piece of writing often indicates the tone that will be maintained throughout it. For example, if the beginning of a scientific paper is humoristic, then the rest of the paper should also be done so. If not, then the reader will probably find the paper too dull to read all the way through.
Tone can be explicit or implicit. An explicit tone indicates that certain words or phrases are being used to indicate how you feel about something. For example, if you want to express sadness, you could say "I am sad that my friend died." An implicit tone works by using language that matches the subject matter; for example, if you were writing about death, then you would use words like "dead," "died," and "remains."
There are two types of tones: formal and informal.