SOAPSTone Strategy for Written Analysis

SOAPSTone is an analytical strategy that you can use when reading texts, writing about texts and planning original writing. There are 6 steps that make up the analytical process of the strategy (and the acronym).

S- Determine the Speaker

  • Who is the voice that tells the story?
  • Is it a character, narrator or the author?
  • What details are important about this person?

The speaker is the voice telling the story. It may be a fictional character, a narrator, or even the author. The speaker chooses which details to share and how to tell the story.

O- Find the Occasion

  • When and where was the text written?
  • How does the occasion inform the text?
  • What details about the occasion are present in the text?

The occasion is the time and place of the story. It can refer to the bigger information environment or a specific situation that informs and inspires the text. The occasion includes the setting of the story and the context for when the author wrote the story.

A- Describe the Audience

  • Who is the target audience?
  • What are the characteristics of this group?
  • Why is the author targeting this group?

The audience is the group of readers that the story is made for. The audience is a single person or group that the text is aimed toward. The audience determines how the author tells the story.

P- Establish the Purpose

  • Why is the author writing the text?
  • What does the author want the audience to think, feel or do?
  • What elements does the author include to do this?

The purpose is the reason for the story. It is what the author wants the audience to get out of reading the story. The purpose determines the way that the author addresses the subject within the story.

S- Identify the Subject

  • What is the author writing about?
  • What is the main topic of the text?
  • How does the author identify this topic?

The subject is the topic of the story. It is the main concern that the text addresses. The subject is what the author focuses the story on.

Tone- Detect the Tone

  • What is the author’s attitude on the subject?
  • What emotion does the text make the audience feel?
  • How does the author create this attitude or emotion?

The tone is the speaker’s attitude. It is the emotion that the speaker uses to speak about the subject. The tone shows meaning that goes beyond the words in the story.

Information adapted from the College Board.


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Alisa Scott

I’m Alisa Scott, a digital content developer intern for The Visual Communication Guy. I am a communication major with a minor in English. I enjoy visual communication, design, writing, social media, advertising and public relations. Although I'm still undecided on what I want to be when I grow up, I am currently aspiring to work in public relations.