Procedural, discussion, report, recount, explanation……  what do they mean?

Text is just a different way of presenting information.  We’ll look at the official ‘names’ for these in a moment.

It’s useful to note that regardless of the text-type you will usually:

  •  Use a new paragraph for each new point or issue
  • Need a short introduction (of some type), body and short conclusion
  • Keep content in chronological order
  • Find that better verbs (verbs that ‘tell’ more) are the simplest way to improve text like recounts and exposition. For example, replace run with scrambled, ate with gobbled, went with walked, said with whispered, took with snatched.

(How to)  Procedure text describes how to do something.  It uses instructions and/or description to achieve this.  Structure and grammar:  It will include an aim, materials needed and the steps in order.  Use action verbs (choose, press, keep, hold), a ‘command’-style language, and present tense. Examples: Instructions about how to play a game, directions, recipes.

Discussion text gives a view/different views on an topic/issue. Structure and grammar: It will include an opening statement about the topic/issue, then give different points of view and finish with a concluding summary/comment/recommendation. Use ‘being’ verbs for the argument (was, is,are) and thinking/feeling verbs (we’d like, I feel)

Exposition text states a position, an argument. It aims to persuade the reader to adopt an opinion or buy a product. Structure and grammar: It will outline the position held, in stages, then sum up. Use emotive language, present tense and a ‘certain’ tone.   Examples: Ads, speeches, editorials.

Report text gives a factual description or statement about something. Structure and grammar: It will include an introduction (like a definition of what the animal is, the variety, colour) then give a sequence of facts, ending with a ’rounding-off’ type of statement.  Facts are organised into paragraphs and the first sentence in each paragraph is about a new part of the topic.  Includes diagrams and technical terms. Examples: Scientific texts, text books, reference books.

Recount text re-tells events in the order they happened and may be personal. Structure and grammar: It will introduce the who, where, when, then re-tell the event/s in chronological order. Usually personal comment. It will use past tense action verbs (the floodwater swept through) and thinking/feeling verbs to express personal involvement.

Explanation text tells how or why something happens – it can be a series of statements. Structure and grammar: It introduces the topic to be explained, gives step by step statements, and concludes with an overview. Here’s some more detail about how to organise explanation text:

Introduction – a general statement about the topic (a definition/a question/a brief description)

Explanation – a series of statements written in sequence – how something works or why something happens.

Eg: how something works – what it is used for, what each part does, how the parts work, how to use it or why something happens – how and why it starts, what happens next and why, what happens then, what happens finally, why?

Conclusion – summary, comment or recommendation.