Features of Text Forms
Instructions - Procedural TextsPurpose
The purpose is to tell the reader how to do or make something.
The information is presented in a logical sequence of events which is broken up into small sequenced steps. These texts are usually written in the present tense.
The most common example of a procedural text is a recipe.
Types of Procedural Texts
There are different procedural texts for different purposes:-
- Texts that explain how something works or how to use instruction
/operation manuals eg how to use the video, the computer, the
tape recorder, the photocopier, the fax.
- Texts that instruct how to do a particular activity eg
recipes, rules for games, science experiments, road safety rules.
- Texts that deal with human behaviour eg how to live happily, how
- Each type of procedural text has a format.
- Recipes usually have the information presented in at least two basic groups: ingredients and method.
- Games instructions usually include instructions on how to play, rules of the game, method of scoring, and the number of players.
- Scientific experiments usually include the purpose of the experiment, equipment, procedure, observations and conclusion.
- the goal is clearly stated
- the materials are listed in order of use
- the layout of the text is easy to understand and follow (steps are numbered or listed)
- is chronological.
- is written in the simple present tense (do this, do that)
- focuses on generalised people rather than individuals (first you take, rather than first I take)
- the reader is often referred to in a general way, ie. pronouns (you or one)
- action verbs (imperative verbs), (cut, fold, twist, hold etc)
- simple present tense (you cut, you fold, you mix)
- linking words to do with time (first, when, then) are used to connect the text
- detailed information on how (carefully, with the scissors); where (from the top); when (after it has set)
- detailed factual description (shape, size, colour, amount)
Instructions need to be clear, logical and easy to follow eg
The text usually:
- Let's Go Camping! English Online New Zealand unit
- Come Fly a Kite English Online New Zealand unit
- Puppets English Online New Zealand unit
- asTTle What Next
- Directions: How to do something
- Writing Instructions
- Wing Jan, L. Write Ways: Modelling Writing Forms. (1991). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Procedural Texts page 40.
- Derewianka, B. Exploring How Texts Work. (1990). Sydney: Primary Teaching Association.
Instructions page 23.
- Knapp, P. & Watkins, M. Context-Text-Grammar (1994) Text Productions.
The genre of instructing page 75.
- Ministry of Education. The Learner as a Reader NZ: Learning Media.
Close Reading - Instructions page 125, 126.