Audio icon Writing_for_a_Purpose-What_does_Demonstrating_Knowledge_and_Understanding_mean.mp3

Explanations and Exercises are types of writing which show that you have understood what you have read in textbooks, and what your lecturers have told you. Although these kinds of assignments can be very technical and can require you to know a large amount about your discipline, they do not usually require you to give your own opinion, or write anything which is not accepted knowledge.

Demonstrating Knowledge & UnderstandingThe Primary Purpose of these Genre Families is Demonstrating Knowledge and Understanding.

Task 1

What do you mean by Demonstrating Knowledge and Understanding?

Listen to the discussion between a student (S) and a lecturer (L) and use the words to fill in the blanks. You can listen to the recording as many times as you want and you can pause it if you need more time to put the answers into the spaces.



Hello I have a quick question about grammar. I want to know the difference between "5 Tips to Survive the Freshman Year" and "5 Tips to Surviving the Freshman Year".   So what's the difference between "to+Verb" and "Verb+ing" ?
Thank you!

"5 Tips to Survive the Freshman Year" is the correct form.
However you can find many examples of the "to -ing" construction in the BAWE corpus, for example "The key to achieving this is a well-managed crop rotation plan".  For other examples see
I don't think it is the verb that determines which structure to use, but the words preceding it. For example it would be correct to say "The Key to Surviving the Freshman Year", and equally it would be correct to say "5 tips to to achieve a well-managed crop rotation".
There are no examples in the BAWE corpus for "tips to...", but there are some for "suggestions to..." - see

Hi! I am a newbie and wanted to ask that where can I find these:

  • Explaining how specific choices and combinations of form, layout and presentation create particular effects.
  • How to infer and deduce meanings, responding to writer's intentions. 
  • Analyzing and interpreting the messages being provided by writers and comment on them with bringing extensions to the basic claims in the text.

    Please help! 

    Much Appreciated.

Hi Hamza
Each genre family has a different purpose, and a different structure. In the section ‘Your writing task’  there are notes and exercises to practise the structure of each of the 13 genre families. So, for example, in you can see the typical structure of an Explanation, and see some examples of Explanations. In you can work on the language of different stages of an Explanation.
If you are interested in writing argumentative essays, provides notes on their six typical organisational patterns. The exercises help you to learn about ways to organise ideas. In there are more exercises concerning the way arguments are developed.

i enjoy this lesson. But i feel that if audio script add with lesson, it would be more helpful for us.

Hello Ehsan,
The audio script is at the top of the page! Just click on 'transcript' and it will appear.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

I would like to take conversation with somebody. I`m history professor and I`m expert on education. Renato.

Dear Renato
There are a lot of history assignments in the BAWE corpus, so I hope that in the Writing for a Purpose materials you will be able to find  some interesting examples of the way university students use English to write about history.
Do you think the same kinds of assignments are set in Brazilian universities?
The Writing for a Purpose Team

good news. I`m glad to this exercises that I have improved my english. Thank you

Dear Paiacan
Thanks, and good luck with your studies!
The Writing for a Purpose Team