Explanations tell how and why things occur in scientific and technical fields. The purpose of explanation is to analyze a topic and prepare arguments to persuade an audience.
Explanations are organised to include:
- an identifying statement about what is to be explained — this stage is the ‘statement of phenomenon’.
- a series of events known as the ‘explanation sequence’ — the events may be related according to time or cause or according to both relationships;
- a ‘concluding statement’ (this stage is optional).
Explanations may include visual images, eg flow charts and diagrams, which need to be carefully examined.
Common grammatical patterns in explanation include:
- general and abstract nouns, eg wood chopping, earthquakes;
- action verbs;
- simple present tense;
- passive voice;
- conjunctions of time and cause;
- noun groups, eg the large cloud, the particles of gas and dust;
- abstract nouns, eg the temperature;
- adverbial phrases;
- complex sentences;
- technical language.
THE EXAMPLE OF THE TEXT STRUCTURE
Statement of phenomenon
|Making Paper From Woodchips
Woodchipping is a process used to obtain pulp and paper products from forest trees. The woodchipping process begins when the trees are cut down in a selected area of the forest called a coupe.
Next the tops and branches of the trees are cut out and then the logs are taken to the mill.
At the mill the bark of the logs is removed and the logs are taken to a chipper which cuts them into small pieces called woodchips.
The woodchips are then screened to remove dirt and other impurities. At this stage they are either exported in this form or changed into pulp by chemicals and heat.
The pulp is then bleached and the water content is removed.
Finally the pulp is rolled out to make.