Features of Text Forms
The writer's purpose is to explain how something works or state reasons for some phenomenon. Explanations answer the questions "how" or "why".
Types of Explanation
There are two basic types of explanation which focus on:
- "How" (How does a pump work? How does a computer work? How are mountains formed? How does a spider spin a web?)
- "Why" (Why do some things float or sink? Why is the ozone layer getting thinner? Why does iron go rusty? Why do living things need food?)
- often have a logical sequence
- use of cause/effect relationships (then, as a consequence, so, if)
- uses time relationships (first, then, following, finally) Explanations involve the stating of reasons for an activity or process.
- written in the 'timeless' present tense (are, turns, happens)
- use of action verbs (falls, rises, changes)
- use of non-human participants (the sea, the mountains, the computers, the engine)
- conjunctions (when, then, first, after this so)
- some passives (is saturated, are changed)
- use of nouns tends to be general rather than specific (cars, boats, spiders, schools)
- use of pronouns (their, they, them)
- Knapp, P. & Watkins, M. Context-Text-Grammar (1994) Text Productions.
Explanations page 75
- Wing Jan, L. Write Ways: Modelling Writing Forms. (1991). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Explanations - page 50.
- Derewianka, B. Exploring How Texts Work. (1990). Sydney: Primary
Explanations - page 57