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TONE

Does the writer strictly use third person and/or passive voice?

 

In written composition, tone can be described as the attitude or perspective used by the writer to pass his or her message with regards to a particular place, character, or development. In literature, tone can be used to portray a number of emotions ranging from humor, grave, solemn, wry, and critical to witty. Therefore, tone aids the audience in ascertaining the writer’s point of view towards a given topic, thus facilitating understanding of the story. In this rhetorical analysis paper, the specific choice selected under the tone sub-category was the use of third person and/or passive voice in the selected articles. Writers use the third person’s point of view to include authorial voice in the text and distancing the character from the author’s thoughts. Writers also use passive voice to highlight important participants or event in a sentence. This is done by placing the participants or event at the start of the beginning of the phrase. This paper analyzes 2 articles, one that shows the writer’s use of third person and/or passive voice, and the other that doesn’t show the writer’s use of third person and/or passive voice. The two articles selected for this analysis are “collecting Music in the Digital Realm” by McCourt and “Gender, Internet Experience, Internet Identification, and Internet Anxiety: A Ten-Year Follow-up” by Joiner, Gavin, Brosnan, Cromby, Gregory, Guiller, Maras, & Moon.

 

Example 1

In the journal article “Collecting Music in the Digital Realm” by McCourt, the author mainly uses the third person’s point of view, even though he starts by writing using the first person’s point of view.

 

In the article, McCourt begins by staying “musical recordings have a relatively short history, and their evolving physical forms have shaped our interactions with them and our perceptions of their value” (249).

 

 

Context: The sentence clearly shows that the writer was mainly focusing on the first person since it makes use of the pronoun “our” two times. However, the author mainly focuses on the third person in the rest of the article. It can also be established that the article is less claustrophobic since it doesn’t show one individual’s point of view. The aspect of the article being less claustrophobic is evident from the author’s use of the listeners’ point of view.

 

Audience: The audience may have also influenced the writer’s choice of the third person’s point of view due to the aspect of immediacy. In the article “Collecting Music in the Digital Realm” it can be established that there is immediacy in writing, which is mostly associated with the third person’s view point. This is clearly shown by the use of present tense in the article.

 

Purpose: The purpose of the article is mainly to inform its audience on music in the digital realm. This may have influenced the the writer’s choice due to the third person’s objectivity and applicability in the context of the article’s topic. The first person’s point of view is subjective and, therefore, not suitable in the context of the article’s topic and purpose.

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Persona: Persona also influences the author’s choice of viewpoint due to the his freedom of viewpoint. The third person’s viewpoint is less restrictive due to the distancing of the characters and the author.

 

Example 2

In the journal article “Gender, Internet Experience, Internet Identification, and Internet Anxiety: A Ten-Year Follow-up” by Joiner et all, the authors do not use the third person’s view point but mainly use the first person’s viewpoint.

 

This can be established by the authors’ intensified use of the word “we.” For example, Joiner, Richard, et al start the article by saying “In a study conducted in 2012, we found…” (370).  It can also be established that there is high use of passive voice in the article.

 

Context: The rhetoric situation for the entire article may have influenced the writers choice of not using the third person due to the need for specificity and restrictive nature of the text. The context of the entire text may have also influenced the author’s use of passive voice due to lack of immediacy.

 

Audience: The audience may have also influenced the author’s choice of not using the third person’s point of view due to the author’s being too claustrophobic. This is because the authors’ specifically focus on themselves with less focus to other character’s in their article.

 

Purpose: The purpose of the article is to give the author’s follow-up report on gender, internet experience, internet identification, and internet anxiety. This may have influenced the the author’s’ choice since it mainly focuses on them. In this case, there is high need to be subjective, therefore, first person’s viewpoint is best suited.

 

Persona: Persona also influences the author’s choice of viewpoint due to high need of specificity and restrictiveness.

 

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