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Explanations: Structure 1

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.

Task 1

Drag the stages into the correct order - put the first one at the top.


Task 2

Read Explanation 1 (under Download below) and decide which answer best describes the organisation of the text.


Task 3

In the explanation stage of Explanation 1, the author identifies the main dimensions and then explains them in order. Match the paragraphs to the dimensions.




Hello rizwan,

You just need to practice. That's how i improved my English. Do watch the BBC news channel and always try to converse in English even if you make mistakes. That's how we all learn. Try to be a regular visitor on this website. It really helps. all the best!

i like to learn

To be honest, I did not understand all words.But I could drag all correct answer.enjoy!

i am not able to drag the items
pleasetell how can i drag.

You asked a very similar question on another page. Please ask each question once only, to save us time.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Good to learn and understand.