Connecting with Readers Through Conversational Style with Reference to Maya Angelou’s Letter to My Daughter

  • Nouf Alkhattabi English Department – College of Languages and Translation - University of Jeddah - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
الكلمات المفتاحية: Conversational Style, Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter


The style of literary writing is one of the major aspects that urge readers to pick out their works. Some famous contemporary writers have adapted conversational style. When their messages are carried out in conversational style, they are seen as partners in conversation with the readers. As a result, a strong connection is built among them and the message is easily conveyed. The study here, examines the impact of conversational style in literary works with reference to Maya Angelou's Letter to My Daughter. Through applying such style, the author exposes her personal thoughts and feelings to audience of different levels. The study also examines the different techniques used to effectively change from formal to conversational tone in literary works to go beyond the limit of sentences and words. It also emphasizes that such a style invites readers, but the authors must be careful to be sincere and not to lose their credibility. The researcher suggests that further studies of conversational style should be executed especially, with the vast spread of social media.


1. Angelou, Maya. (2008). Letter to My daughter. New York: Random House, Inc.

2. Ballenger, Bruce. (2009).The curious researcher: A guide to writing research papers. New York: Longman.

3. Bazerman, Charles. (1980). "A Relationship Between Reading and Writing: The Conversational Model." College English, 41(6), pp. 656-661.

4. Bernstein, Basil. (1990). Class, Codes and Control: Vol 4: The Structure of Pedagogical Discourse. London: Routledge.

5. Drieman, Gerard HJ. (19620. "Differences between written and spoken language: An exploratory study." Acta Psychologica, 20, pp. 36-57.

6. Grimm, Jacob. (1984). On the origin of language. New York: Brill Archive.

7. Hakim, Joy. (2010). All the People: Since 1945 (A History of Us). Oxford University Press.

8. Horn, Laurence R., and Gregory L. Ward, eds. (2004). The handbook of pragmatics. Oxford: Blackwell.

9. Horowitz, Milton W., and Alan Berkowitz. (1964). "Structural advantage of the mechanism of spoken expression as a factor in differences in spoken and written expression." Perceptual and motor skills, 19(2), pp. 619-625.

10. Leonard, Elmore. (2001). "Writers on writing: Easy on the adverbs, exclamation points, and especially hooptedoodle." New York Times, pp. E1. Retrieved July 22, 2020, from

11. Sever, Tuba. (2013). "Conversational Style: Analyzing Talk among Friends." ELT Research Journal, 2(3), pp.146-149.

12. Steinbeck, John. (1988). Conversations with John Steinbeck. Edited by Thomas Fensch. Jackson: Univ. Press of Mississippi.

13. Tannen, Deborah. (1982). "Oral and literate strategies in spoken and written narratives." Language, 58(1), pp. 1-21.

14. Toolan, Michael. (2010). "The intrinsic importance of sentence type and clause type to narrative effect: or, how Alice Munro’s “Circle of Prayer” gets started." Language and style. In honour of Mick Short. Edited by Dan Mclntyre and Beatrix Busse. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 311-327.

15. Vonnegut, Kurt. (1980). How to write with style. New York: International Paper Company. Retrieved September 12, 2020, from

16. Woolbert, Charles Henry. (1927). The Fundamentals of Speech: A Text Book of Delivery, with a Section on Speech Composition and Interpretative Reading. New York &London: Harper & Bros.

17. Young, Richard. (1995). "Conversational styles in language proficiency interviews." Language Learning, 45(1), pp. 3-42.
كيفية الاقتباس
Nouf Alkhattabi. (2021). Connecting with Readers Through Conversational Style with Reference to Maya Angelou’s Letter to My Daughter. مجلة الفنون والأدب وعلوم الإنسانيات والاجتماع, (63), 389-399.