Style/Tone Analysis Homework

Both authors inserted bits of their own personality into their writing while still effectively conveying their arguments. Rae Ellen Bichell, author of “Why the U.S. Chills Its Eggs and Most of the World Doesn’t”, appeals to her audience by varying sentence length, carefully choosing words that keep the audience engaged, and using the pronoun “we”. The sentence “But we’re oddballs.” exemplifies these elements particularly well. Because it is short, this sentence that holds the reader’s attention. It also contains the pronoun “we” which relates the topic directly to the reader. The term “oddballs” immediately accentuates the difference between egg-related practices in the U.S. versus other countries and illustrates the importance of thoughtful word choice. The attention grabber stood out to me as especially engaging. Bichell chose to describe a hypothetical situation that a reader could theoretically experience and used questions to demonstrate the thoughts one might have in such a situation. It resonated with me because I have experienced it and was just as surprised at the unrefrigerated eggs as Bichell promised.

The author of the second article also makes use of varied sentence length, carefully considered word-choices and the use of personal pronouns. She too takes on an engaging tone while still making an effective argument. This author’s primary technique, however, is her prolific use of examples. A relatively short sentence begins most paragraphs. The author then lists off examples of several types of kitchen technology, or sometimes describing just one technology or situation in great detail. A conclusion is then drawn and her point is effectually made. Overall, I was impressed by the styles of both authors and would like to implement some of their techniques into my own writing. In particular, I want to focus on word choice, effective use of examples, and variation in sentence length. While in my case it is important to maintain an academic tone, these approaches do not detract and can help keep my audience engaged.

Original Introduction

Imagine looking at modern New York City as a time traveler from the past. You could look at the buildings stretching toward the sky, but as one only familiar with 18th-century technology, could not even conceive a device that would lift people to and from upper floors. As a result, you would start making assumptions – people in the upper floors rarely left, while those in the premium lower floors could come and go as they pleased – and these assumptions would be wrong. The process of looking forward or back with knowledge only of one’s present has been dubbed the elevator effect. (Asimov) This nomenclature stemmed from the example described above and shows the importance of elevators as we know them today. Elevators have allowed cities to expand upwards, enabling the high concentration of people, businesses and economic activity that has resulted. As elevator technology continues to progress, so does our reliance on them.

Revised Introduction

Imagine looking at modern New York City as a time traveler from the past. You could gaze upon the buildings stretching toward the sky, but as one only familiar with 18th-century technology, could not even conceive a device that would lift people to and from the upper floors. What assumptions would you draw from these massive structures? People in the upper floors obviously couldn’t leave, while those in the premium lower floors could come and go as they pleased. Yet these assumptions would be wrong. Hopelessly wrong. Consequently, this process of using limited knowledge to draw false conclusions about an unknown has been dubbed the elevator effect. (Asimov) Elevators are so unbelievably critical to the functioning of a city that this example is responsible for the naming of an entirely unrelated phenomenon. Elevators are the driving force have caused cities to expand upwards. They initiated increased population densities, growing businesses and spikes in economic activity that have resulted. We have become reliant on elevators as they have characterized the cultural hubs we call cities.

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