Definition and purposes of Explanation
Explanation is a text which tells processes relating to forming of natural, social, scientific and cultural phenomena. Explanation text is to say ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the forming of the phenomena. It is often found in science, geography and history text books.
Generic structure of Explanation
• General statement; stating the phenomenon issues which are to be explained.
• Sequenced explanation; stating a series of steps which explain the phenomena.
• Featuring generic participant; sun, rain, etc
• Using chronological connection; to begin with, next, etc
• Using passive voice pattern
• Using simple present tense
• Using general and abstract noun
• Using action verbs
• Using technical terms
Example of Explanation Text
Why Summer Daylight is Longger than Winter Daylight
In the summer, the amount of daylight that we get is more than we get in winter. This is not because as much people think we are closer to the sun but because of the tilt of the earth.
The earth is actually closer to the sun in winter than it is in summer but you would be forgiven for thinking that this can not be true after looking out of your window on a cold and frosty morning.
It seems strange that as the earth get closer to the sun during its orbit then the amount of daylight that we get decrease. But that is the case. It is the tilt of the earth that determine the amount of daylight that we get and so the length of time that for us the sun is above the horizon.
(Taken from: http://www.ictteachers.co.uk)
Generic Structure Analysis
General statement: stating the phenomenon whic daylight in summer is longer than in winter.
Explanation: it is the tilt of the earth that determines the amount of daylight not the distance of the earth from the sun.
Language Feature Analysis
Focusing generic participant: daylight.
Using chronological connection: then, so, but.
Using pasive voice: you would be forgiven.
Using present tense: the earth is actually closer to the sun.