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Text Types


Explanation
Purpose of the text type

The purpose of an explanation is to explain the processes involved in natural and social
phenomena, or to tell you how and why something works.
Generic Structure

1. A generalised statement of the phenomenon to be explained.
2. The details of how and why set out in a series of logical steps, in paragraphs, until the explanation is completed.

Features of the Text

Written in simple present tense.
Uses collectives that signal time e.g. then, next, several weeks later.
Uses causal connectives e.g. because, so, this causes.
Non-chronological report.

The purpose of a report is to give facts and information about topic.
It differs from explanation in that it doesn’t attempt to explain how or why.
1. A generalised statement about the nature of the report.
2. Facts about the subject set out in paragraphs.
Written in the present tense.
Uses a formal style - written in the third person.
Initial focus on generic participants.
Moves from the general to the specific.
Recount
The purpose of a recount is to allow the writer to retell events.
This can include personal events, factual incidents or imaginary incidents.
1. Orientation, scene setting opening, which tells about who, when, and where the event occurred.
2. Detail of a sequence of events in the order in which they occurred.
3. Reorientation - a closing statement.
Written in the past tense.
Written in chronological order, using connectives that signal time e.g. after, meanwhile, then,
next.
see NLS Grammar for Writing. DfEE 0107/2000
SBN: 0 19 312401 7
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