Writing Techniques Style Improvements How to Use ProWritingAid’s Tone Detector

How to Use ProWritingAid’s Tone Detector

How to Use ProWritingAid’s Tone Detector

If you’ve ever had to send a professional email, then you’ve probably grappled with whether or not you struck the right tone.

Tone refers to the mood and attitude of the words you use in your writing. The tone you use can evoke different emotions and perceptions in your reader. Tone also exists in spoken communication, where it’s much easier to decipher and understand since there are elements that add to the tone of what you’re saying. These include facial expressions, body language, pace of your words, and even the pitch of your voice.

Written communication, however, does not have the benefit of these elements and so what is perceived by the reader may not be what was intended by the writer. Nonetheless, striking the right tone in your written correspondence is important. Whether you’re emailing your boss, responding to a disgruntled client, or posting to social media, your writing tone conveys a specific message and affects the reader positively or negatively. It also determines how the reader receives the message.

The wrong tone can mean the difference between sounding stiff when you really meant to sound casual or coming off as impolite when you were going for empathetic.

Let’s imagine that you sent an email to your boss with the line, “I think there’s a possibility that we could improve revenue with this new offer.” That reads as uncertain when you really meant to convey that you’re certain that a new business solution could definitely improve revenue. You can see that while you intended for your message to be conveyed in a particular way, the tone would have affected how it’s actually perceived.

Fortunately, there’s ProWritingAid’s Tone Detector at your disposal. It will check your tone so you can ensure that your words accurately represent how you’re feeling and want to be perceived.

How Does ProWritingAid’s Tone Detector Work?

To use the Tone Detector, first ensure that your document type is set to "Email" (general or sales). The Tone Detector will then analyze your emails using a machine learning model that classifies sentences based on the emotion that the model detects.

It looks for specific words and phrases that denote a specific tone as well as the use of capitalization, style, pacing, and other linguistic features to evaluate how your writing may come across to readers.

The Tone detector is integrated into the Goals summary of your document and comes up automatically with the other results for grammar, spelling, style, etc. The tones that you may see detected include:

  • analytical
  • empathetic
  • fawning
  • polite
  • impolite
  • formal
  • informal
  • apologetic
  • confident
  • uncertain
  • friendly
  • skeptical

These results will show up in the form of emojis with accompanying thumbs up and thumbs down buttons. You can then review the results to quickly see what tones have been detected in your writing. You’ll always be shown a maximum of three tone results.

We’d love to hear your feedback and encourage you to select a thumbs up if we got it correct and the thumbs down if we didn’t. We’re committed to getting it right and want to hear what you think could be improved.

How Can the Tone Detector Help You?

An important part of business communication is being able to express yourself efficiently. Tone helps you better relate to your audience’s emotions, needs, wants, and interests. The better you can relate to them, the stronger their engagement with your content will be. Tone can build a connection between reader and writer (or reader and brand) by eliciting an emotional response from the reader.

On the flip side, if the reader misinterprets the tone, this could lead to confusion and the gap in communication can result in a less than desirable outcome for the writer. This could be an angry customer, a confused colleague, or an offended boss.

The tone detector will help you strike the right tone so there can be fewer apologies and email recalls while allowing greater understanding and trust between the writer and reader.

It’s also a great feature for companies who want to have a consistent tone of voice across all their marketing and sales materials. It can be difficult to enforce this and takes a lot of micro managing. The tone detector will ensure that your employees can see where they may need to make tone adjustments based on the company style guide.

Final Thoughts

Striking the right tone is important but not always easy. Using the tone detector ensures that you get your ideas across how you want to, no matter the person or context.