Worksheet 1: Author's Tone

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On most major reading comprehension tests, you'll see a question or two related to figuring out the author's tone along with other reading comprehension skills such as finding the main idea, understanding vocabulary in context, determining the author's purpose and making inferences.

But before you jump into this author's tone worksheet, first, read about what author's tone really is and three of the tricks you can use to determine the author's tone when you don't have a clue.

Feel free to use these free printable pdf files for your own educational use, too:

Author's Tone Worksheet 1 | Author's Tone Worksheet 1 Answer Key

PASSAGE 1An excerpt from H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man

THE STRANGER came early in February one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking as it seemed from Bramblehurst railway station and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand. He was wrapped up from head to foot, and the brim of his soft felt hat hid every inch of his face but the shiny tip of his nose; the snow had piled itself against his shoulders and chest, and added a white crest to the burden he carried. He staggered into the Coach and Horses, more dead than alive as it seemed, and flung his portmanteau down. “A fire,” he cried, “in the name of human charity! A room and a fire!” He stamped and shook the snow from off himself in the bar, and followed Mrs. Hall into her guest parlour to strike his bargain. And with that much introduction, that and a ready consent to terms and a couple of coins flung upon the table, he took up his quarters in the inn.

1. What does the author most likely want to convey through the use of the phrase “ready consent to terms and a couple of coins flung upon the table"?

                A. The stranger's lack of manners and thoughtfulness.

                B. The stranger's desire quickly get to his room.

                C. The stranger's greediness in bartering.

                D. The stranger's discomfort.

PASSAGE 2: An excerpt from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.           

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.             

  ‘My dear Mr. Bennet,’ said his lady to him one day, ‘have you heard that Netherfield Park is leased at last?’      

  Mr. Bennet replied that he had not.             

  ‘But it is,’ returned she; ‘for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it.’            

  Mr. Bennet made no answer.         

  ‘Do not you want to know who has taken it?’ cried his wife, impatiently.         

  ‘You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it.’                  

  This was invitation enough.             

  ‘Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was so much delighted with it that he agreed with Mr. Morris immediately; that he is to take possession before Michaelmas, and some of his servants are to be in the house by the end of next week.’              

  ‘What is his name?’          


  ‘Is he married or single?’                

  ‘Oh, single, my dear, to be sure! A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!’                 

  ‘How so? How can it affect them?’              

  ‘My dear Mr. Bennet,’ replied his wife, ‘how can you be so tiresome? You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them.’                

  ‘Is that his design in settling here?’             

  ‘Design? Nonsense, how can you talk so! But it is very likely that he may fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes.’

2. The author's attitude toward mothers trying to arrange marriages for their daughters could best be described as:

A. accepting of the notion

B. irritated with the notion

C. astonished by the notion

D. amused by the notion

3. What tone is the author most likely trying to convey with the sentence, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

                A. satiric

                B. scornful

                C. reproachful

                D. weary

PASSAGE 3: An excerpt from Edgar Allen Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher

DURING the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country, and at length found myself, as the shades of evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was—but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me—upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain—upon the bleak walls—upon the vacant eye-like windows—upon a few rank sedges—and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees—with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium—the bitter lapse into every-day life—the hideous dropping of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart—an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it—I paused to think—what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher?

4. Which of the following choices provides the best answer to the author's final question posed in the text, while maintaining the tone of the article?

A. It could be that I'd fallen into a nightmare without knowing it. 

B. It had to be the dreariness of the day. Nothing about the house itself was particularly depressing.

C. The solution defied me. I couldn't get at the heart of my displeasure.

D. It was a mystery I couldn't solve; nor could I grapple with the shadowy fancies that crowded upon me as I pondered. 

5. Which emotion is the author most likely trying to rouse from his reader after reading this text?

                A. hatred

                B. terror

                C. apprehension

                D. depression

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Your Citation
Roell, Kelly. "Worksheet 1: Author's Tone." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Roell, Kelly. (2020, August 26). Worksheet 1: Author's Tone. Retrieved from Roell, Kelly. "Worksheet 1: Author's Tone." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 28, 2023).