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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?

Explanation Texts Power Point  

This is a presentation that I used to introduce a unit on explanation texts.

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