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CAT Prep: Irony, Satire or Narrative: Whats the tone of passage?

Added: (Fri Sep 27 2013)

Pressbox (Press Release) - How important is to identify the tone of the author in the passage? It can be well understood by the fact that CAT 2012 had at least two questions in every session on tone of the passage in Reading Comprehension section of Verbal Ability. What are the key words and sentences that would help you to detect the tone of the author? Are you aware getting these questions answered correct, could give you an edge of 12-14 percentile? So get some tips and guidelines to detect the Tone or attitude of the Author in the passage.
The tone is supposed to be understood after going through the entire passage, since the writing piece might have more than one tones or the tone may vary after one or two paragraphs, although a careful reader may find out the tone in the beginning itself.
What are different ‘tones’ and how to identify?
Irony conveys a meaning that is the opposite of the actual meaning. Ironic statements bring attention to words and phrases and show the difference between an ideal and an actual condition.
Sarcasm is harsh or may be described as bitter irony.
Satire uses sarcasm or irony to make fun of something.
Analytical – the tone goes on analyzing the facts with author’s opinion added to it
Descriptive – Description of an event –which may lead to inculcate interest among the readers and with description the piece of writing may lead to form the opinion in optimistic, pessimistic manner.
Narrative – In fact it is simply narration of events without any tone of description or analysis e.g. as the news readers simply narrate the items of news.
Objective -The author’s attitude is expressed through the words and details he or she selects. For example, textbooks are usually written with an objective tone which includes facts and reasonable explanations. The objective tone is matter-of-fact and neutral. The details are mostly facts.
Subjective - On the other hand, fiction and personal essays are usually written with a subjective tone. A subjective tone uses words that describe feelings, judgments, or opinions. The details are likely to include experiences, senses, feelings, and thoughts.

Key points to understand
Writers use words to set the tone. A passage with a dark, ominous tone will probably have more negative descriptions than a light, happy comedy. A passage with a suspenseful, adventurous tone will probably have lots of short sentences and brief, matter-of-fact descriptions. A sad, romantic one will often have long, detailed, sentimental descriptions.
Visualise it
One trick that may help to figure out the tone of the passage is to imagine a key scene from the story as a movie. Do you imagine something dark and moody, somber and thoughtful? It might click to visualize the tone. Try to visualize the scene and hear the abstract characters voices as you read, and you'll be able to pick out the tone in no time.
Final Tip
Read regularly the articles and editorials in newspaper and periodicals. Whether you are reading George Bernard Shaw or Evelyn Waugh – the tone is the one that you are supposed to understand. An aspirant is strongly advised to make use of the scratch sheet provided in the examination hall and write down the keys words indicating the tone in each paragraph. By the time the passage is over, he or she will be fairly equipped to answer not only the question regarding the tone of the passage but also other questions based on the passage.
You may expect two questions in the RC section of Verbal Ability on Tone of the Author in the passage. If you get the tone right, your percentile is up by 12-14 if not it is down by more than that. So you be the judge.

Submitted by:MBA Universe
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