By R. Simpkin 2007
Adapted from The National Literacy Strategy Grammar for Writing p154/5
To tell readers how or why something works.
General statement to introduce the topic, e.g. in the autumn some birds migrate A series of logical steps explaining how or why something occurs, e.g. because hours of daylight shorten Steps continue until the final state is produced or the explanation is complete .
Present tense, e.g. many birds fly south Time Connectives, e.g. then, next, several months later Causal connectives, e.g. because, so, this causes
readers what is being written
◦ Sometimes includes how or why ◦ May be in the form of a question Eg Why do sloths hang about?.
charts, illustrations, flow charts help to explain.
first paragraph - introduces the subject to the reader
Organise the writing and illustrations to explain: what you need, how it works, why it works (cause and effect), when and where it works, what it is used for.’
Glossary- defines words in the passage that readers may not know.
Interest the reader with exclamation, eg Beware
- whirlwinds can kill!
Or use questions, e.g. Did you know that…?
Draw the reader in, e.g. strange as it may
seem…, not many people know that… Finally
re-read your explanation, pretending you know nothing about the subject - is it clear?
This is a presentation that I used to introduce a unit on explanation texts.