What is Explanation?
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Language Feature
• Featuring generic participant; sun, rain, etc
• Using chronological connection; to begin with, next, etc
• Using passive voice pattern
• Using simple present tense
4. Examples and structures of the text
Making Paper from Woodchips
A general statement 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.
explanation of Next the tops and branches of the trees are cut out and then the logs are taken to the mill.
why or how something occurs 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.
Closing Finally the pulp is rolled out to make paper.
Example of Explanation Text
The term of “tsunami” comes from the Japanese which means harbour ("tsu") and wave ("nami"). A tsunamigk is a series of waves generated when water in a lake or the sea is rapidly displaced on a massive scale.
A tsunami can be generated when the sea floor abruptly deforms and vertically displaces the overlying water. Such large vertical movements of the earth's crust can occur at plate boundaries.
Subduction of earthquakes are particularly effective in generating tsunamis, and occur where denser oceanic plates slip under continental plates.
As the displaced water mass moves under the influence of gravity to regain its equilibrium, it radiates across the ocean like ripples on a pond.
Tsunami always bring great damage. Most of the damage is caused by the huge mass of water behind the initial wave front, as the height of the sea keeps rising fast and floods powerfully into the coastal area.
(simplified from www.panda.org)
B. How Day and Night Happen
The sun seems to rise in the morning, crosses the sky during the day and sets at night. However the sun does not actually move around the earth. Earth's turning on its axis makes it look as if the sun is moves.
The earth makes a complete turn on its axis for 24 hours. It is called as rotation. It causes day and night. The earth also moves around the sun. It takes 365 days or a year. This process is called revolution. The revolution process causes the changes of the season
C. 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: 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.
A. 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.