Social Function: To explain the processes involved in the formation or working of natural or sociocultural phenomena.

Generic Structure

  • A general statement to position the reader
  • A sequenced explanation of why or how something occurs.

Significant Lexicogrammatical Features

  • Focus on generic, non-human Participants
  • Use mainly of Material Processes and Relational Processes
  • Use mainly of Temporal and causal Circumstances and Conjunctions

Explanation text is a text genre which tries to explain how a thing happens or why the thing is made. Explanation text actually is similar to procedure text, however, explanation text tends to explain. While the procedure text is intended to instruct how to form or make something.
Bellow are some examples of explanation text which are grouped into several topics. This list of links relating to explanation text hopefully helps students to get more understanding about text genres, especially an explanation text.

Explanation texts about food
How a chocolate is made

Explanation texts about toy play
How a kite flies

Explanation texts about natural phenomena:
How a tsunami happens
How a Venus eclipse happens
How an earthquake happens
How rain happens
How seasons happen
How day and night happens
Why daylight in summer is longer than in winter

Explanation texts about technology
How a cell phone works
How a fuel light works

Explanation texts about monumental things
How roman roads were built
Why Eiffel tower was built

Explanation texts about diseases
How a cancer is formed

Contoh 1

The United States of America is where the Venus’s fly trap has its origins. The Venus’s fly trap is a unique plant. It belongs to a group of plants called ‘carnivorous plants’. These plants feed on insect. The Venus’s fly trap has a special mechanism by which it traps its prey. This is how it works.

At the end of each leaf – which grows from the base of a long, flowering stalk – there is a trap. The trap is made up of two lobes and is covered with short, reddish hairs which are sensitive. There are teeth like structures around the edge of the lobes.

The trap contains nectar which attracts insect. When an insect comes in contact with the nectar, the trap snaps shut. There are certain digestive juice inside the trap which digest the insect. It takes about ten days for a trapped insect to be digested. We can tell when this digestion is complete, for then the walls automatically open to wait for another victim.

There are two hundred species of carnivorous plants. Another kind of these well- known species is the pitcher plant. What differentiates this plant from the Venus’s fly trap is the shape; the mechanism to catch insects is the same in both plants.

The pitcher plants which cling to other plants by means of tendrils. At one end of the tendril, there is a pitcher –shaped vessel with an open lid. The mouth and the lid of the pitcher contain glands which produce nectar to attract insect. When an insect settles on the nectar, the lid of the pitcher shuts, trapping its victim. The digestive juices inside the pitcher then begin to work.


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