There may be no way for you to ever meet an author to ask that person questions like: Why did you write it? Where did the idea come from? What’s your position for real?
We can use some stuff from the reading itself to help us figure out the author’s perspective or attitude toward the subject in the piece we are reading. This is also called the TONE. An author’s tone is the author’s attitude or perspective toward the subject. Features we can focus on in order to determine an author’s TONE/Persepective/Attitude are:
- the reading’s thesis statement
- the primary audience
- the level of language
- the author’s reputation
- the text’s period
Talk with a classmate about a current reading assignment:
- THESIS: What do you think is the reading’s thesis? What main point is made as the text begins and/or ends?
- AUDIENCE: What kind of readers do you think the author wrote this text for? Do you think it is intended to be read, for example, by students, experts, or the general public?
- LANGUAGE COMPLEXITY: Does the writer use common words or the specialized terms of a particular academic discipline? Does the level of language create clarity or confusion?
- AUTHOR’S REPUTATION: What do you know about the author? Is the writer widely recognized and cited by others? Does the reading begin with a biographical note or does the book end with information about the contributors?
- TEXT ERA: When was this text published? What do you know about this period that can help you understand the reading?
I relied heavily on a page at the Hartford College website.