Using voice in an essay

Personal Voice in Writing written by: One crucial element of writing is adding voice or personality.

Using voice in an essay

How to Bring Your Voice to Life in Personal Essays

We "hear" a writer in our head as we read, and what we hear enables us to form a mental image of the writer, thus shaping our response to what he has written. One aspect of voice is whether the writer speaks to his reader as "I.

But even if the conventions of the rhetorical situation permit "I" or "you" or "we," for that matterthat is not the only consideration. Some topics, or at least some approaches to some topics, seem to call for more distance between the writer and reader than the chumminess of "I" and "you" permits.

When deciding whether to use "I" or "you," even where they would be permitted, the writer needs to think about how he will come across to his reader, and about whether the response these tactics will evoke is exactly the sort of response he wants to produce.

Another aspect of voice is consistency. Obviously it is inappropriate to switch suddenly between first-person and third-person, but it is also important to maintain voice consistency in terms of levels of distance and formality.

But I would say that as the reader "hears" the author speaking to him, the sense of the person behind the voice is very much affected by the formality or informality of the diction and by the simplicity or complexity of the sentence structure.

Logos, or the appeal to reason, depends on the plausibility of the evidence the author marshals to support his position. Pathos depends on his ability to get his reader emotionally involved. But ethos depends largely on the sense the reader gets of the writer.

Can he be trusted? Is he appealing or obnoxious? Does he seem to know what he is talking about, or does he seem tentative, as if he is in over his head? And whether or not he wants to believe you depends to a large degree on how he feels about you.

In some circumstances this would seem so inappropriate that the reader would automatically pull back and disengage from what the writer is trying to say. Similarly, in some situations your reader does not want you to be excessively familiar. Just this semester, a student in my Introduction to Poetry class made a serious misstep when he paused every few sentences in his final exam essay to address me with some sort of arch and "clever" comment.

His self-consciously ironic chatter was not appropriate for the rhetorical situation, and it hurt his grade on the final. Another way to think of your voice is as your authorial presence. Some people have a striking presence in face-to-face encounters.

You feel comfortable and "safe" with them, or you feel respectful toward them, or you feel charmed and amused by them. As an author, you can produce all of these effects, depending on the rhetorical situation.

The trick is not to come across as merely charming and amusing when you need your reader to respond to you as an expert, or to seem too distant and superior when you need your reader to feel comfortable and safe. Often you must blend and balance these effects to produce just the response you want in your reader.

And sometimes--fairly often, really, in academic writing--you need to become transparent, to disappear, like a good waiter who does everything that needs to be done at just the right time, without ever calling attention to himself or intruding on your meal or your conversation.

This sort of "invisible" authorial presence is what I call report voice. Not all essays need to be noticeably "voicey. But as it happens, the sort of writing a lot of students do in high school and junior high is personal writing, not really academic writing at all.

In personal writing, a strong voice is usually a good thing, and in fact, voice is often where my college students shine in English They readily project an engaging authorial presence that makes their essays enjoyable to read, even when, as is often the case, they are marred by other serious writing flaws.

As with style, one of the best ways for a student to "hear" his voice is to actually hear his voice--i. Many people would mistake the adverbial particle "like" in the phrasal verb "sounds like" for a preposition and thus assume that the proper case for the pronoun would be "whom.3 thoughts on “ Voice in Writing: Developing a Unique Writing Voice ” Roseoro November 10, at am.

I can definitely, one-hundred percent agree with this well written article. I guess that I’ve never actually looked deeper into the minds and styles and voices that authors use to portray their characters.

Using assignment essays for assessment supports learning better than the caninariojana.comG A RESEARCHED ESSAY IN YOUR OWN VOICE: Using Sound Research and Writing Methods.

Using voice in an essay - Property King

By Debbie Burdick. By Debbie Burdick. Tips for Putting Voice into a Paper. Study writers who have a strong voice. "Never hesitate to imitate another writer.

Using voice in an essay

Imitation is an important part of the creative process for anyone learning an art or craft." (Zinsser ) Find the best writers in a field that interests you and read their work aloud.

Get their voice and taste into your ear.

Using voice in an essay

Personal voice in writing is another way of saying personality in writing, the type of content that makes your writing distinct (not the way you say it; that's called style). A look at the elements of voice in writing will make the concept of personal voice in writing more clear.

English Composition 1 Formal Writing Voice. Using these expressions in analytical and persuasive essays can make the writing wordy, can make the writer seem less confident of his or her ideas, and can give the essay an informal tone. Use of first-person pronouns is unnecessary in the kinds of essays you are writing for the course.

Sep 24,  · Expert Reviewed. How to Fix Passive Voice. Three Methods: Identifying Passive Voice Adjusting Passive Voice in Your Writing Using Proofreading Strategies Community Q&A Your writing voice adds distinctiveness and a sense of flavor to your work, which can help your reader engage more with what you have to say%(52).

How to Fix Passive Voice - wikiHow