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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. Language Feature Featuring generic participant; sun, rain, etc Using chronological connection; to begin with, next, etc Using passive voice pattern Using simple present tense Example :

Why Summer Daylight is Longger than Winter Daylight; an explanation text

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: 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.

How Chocolate is made; an Example of Explanation text

Have we wondered how we get chocolate from? Well this time we will enter the amazing world of chocolate so we can understand exactly we are eating. Chocolate starts a tree called cacao tree. This tree grows in equatorial regions, especially in place such as South America, Africa, and Indonesia. The cacao tree produces a fruit about the size of a small pine apple. In side the fruits are the tree's seeds. They are also known as coco beans.

Uploaded by Oka Susila, visit Next, the beans are fermented for about a week, dried in the sun. After that they are shipped to the chocolate maker. The chocolate maker starts by roasting the beans to bring out the flavour. Different beans from different places have different qualities and flavour. So they are often shorted and blended to produce a distinctive mix. The next process is winnowing. The roasted beans are winnowed to remove the meat nib of the cacao bean from its shell. Then the nibs are blended. The blended nibs are ground to make it a liquid. The liquid is called chocolate liquor. It tastes bitter. All seeds contain some amount of fat and cacao beans are not different. However, cacao beans are half fat, which is why the ground nibs from liquid. It is pure bitter chocolate.

Note on the generic structure of this explanation sample. Every text genre has its special purpose or social function. However if we see the generic structure point, we will get the understanding which both the explanation and procedure text have similar purposes. Both explain how to make or form something. However the procedure text will explain how to form or make something completely by instruction way. That is why most of procedure text is composed in command sentences. In the other hand, explanation text will show a knowledge about how thing is formed. The above example of explanation text has the following generic structure: General statement; it is a statement which says about chocolate and how it is formed Sequenced explanation; it is a series of explanation on how chocolate is formed before we eat. First, the chocolate is coming from the cacao tree. Then it is fermented and ship to the chocolate producer. The cacao bean then are roasted and winnowed.

Flying Kites as Example of Explanation

How a kite flies is best at giving example of Explanation text. This kind of text is composed to intendedly make clear explanation on how something is processed and why the thing is formed. Explanation text is one of the text types which is similar to Procedure. What makes superficially different is the way how they are structured. In one side, Explanation text is structure in the mode of description. It focuses on the thing which is explained. In the other side, Procedure text is constructed in the mode of instruction and commend. That is why Procedure is sometimes called instruction text. It focuses on the second person to explain how to form the thing. In my previous example of explanation text on Roman Roads was given to show how the explanation text gives clear note on "Why something is formed" To get clearer understanding of explanation text, now let's see another example of "How something is precessed/formed" which belongs to explanation text's social function. The example bellow is re-composed from Jenny Eather's writing with fun. It really helps to make better understanding on explanation text. How is a Kite Flying? A kite is an object which is made from a light material stretched over a frame. Due to its light material a kite will lift off the ground and fly when it is tilted into the wind. A kite is uses wind to make it fly because it is heavier than air. When wind travels over the surface of the kite, it is split into two streams of air. One stream of the air goes over the kite while the second stream goes under the kite. The upper stream creates an area of low pressure above the kite. The lower stream hits the kite at a shallow angle and creates an area of high pressure.

Uploaded by Oka Susila, visit The high pressure area has a pushing effect while the low pressure area has a pulling effect. The combination of push and pull can creates enough force to lift the kite into the air. Kites have been known for thousand of years. They are used for military or scientific purposes. Todays kites are much used for leisure and competition. From the above example of Explanation text, we can see that the text has the following generic structure: General Statement; the introduction of the topic on with a brief definition on kites. Sequenced Explanation; this is the main element of explanation text. It explain the important points of the kite. The explanation of how kites fly is given in order.

Between Explanation and Procedure Text

Seeing the social function, both procedure and explanation texts have the similarity in which both describe how to make or done something. They give the detail description on something, phenomena, goods, product case or problem. To see the differences between explanation and procedure, we have to analyze the dominant language feature and how the texts are used. Procedure, this text type is commonly called as instruction text. It uses pattern of commend in building the structure. It use the to infinitive verb which is omitted the to. It is a kind of instruction text which uses full commend verb. Procedure is commonly used to describe how to make something which is close to our daily activity. For example how to make a cup of tea, how to make a good kite, etc is the best example of the procedure text. It is such word; first boil water, secondly prepare the cup, and so on. Explanation, it is commonly used the passive voice in building the text. Explanation is such a scientific written material. It describes how certain phenomenon or event happen. How a tornado form, how tsunami works are the best example of explanation text. It uses passive pattern in describing the topic.