Explanations are usually quite short assignments. They are common in the earlier stages of a course of study, where their function is to check students' knowledge. They usually contain information that is available in textbooks and/or from lectures.
They are factual, and, therefore, do not contain any argument. They tend not to describe actions, but states, processes, qualities and properties.
They often include diagrams, tables or figures.
Explanations can classify, explain methods, explain systems and processes, or compare and contrast.
A typical structure of an Explanation:
What is it? Perhaps include a definition - taken from a textbook, not a general dictionary.
You may also include some indication of its significance.
Include a description of its history, properties, functions, uses or how it works.
This will be organised in some clear way: past to present, top to bottom, left to right, outside to inside, general to particular, etc.
A summary or general statement,
Include a comment on the significance or importance of what you have explained; for example, something about the future and its broader relevance to society, economy, the discipline, etc.
Examples of Explanations include:
- account of natural phenomenon
- business explanation
- concept/job/legislation overview
- instrument description
- methodology explanation
- organism/disease account
- site/environment report
- species/breed description
- system/process explanation
Try these tasks to learn more about the structure of Explanations.