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• Genres reflect differences in external format and situations of use and are defined on the basis of systematic non-linguistic criteria.
• Text types may be defined on the basis of cognitive categories or linguistic criteria.

Genre distinctions don’t adequately represent the underlying text functions of English. Genres and texts types must be distinguished.


• Os gêneros refletem diferenças no formato externo e nas situações de uso e são definidos com base em critérios sistemáticos não linguísticos.
• Tipos de texto podem ser definidos com base em categorias cognitivas ou critérios lingüísticos.

Diferenças de gênero não representam adequadamente as funções de texto subjacentes do inglês. Gêneros e tipos de textos devem ser distinguidos.

• Texts within particular genres can differ greatly in their linguistic • Linguistically distinct texts within a genre may
characteristics (texts in newspaper articles can range from narrative represent different text types,
and colloquial to informational and elaborated). • while linguistically similar texts from different
• On the other hand, different genres can be similar linguistically genres may represent a single text type (Biber
(newspaper and magazine articles). 1989:6).

While genres form an open-ended set (Schauber and Spolsy 1986), text types constitute a closed set with only a limited number of

• Textos dentro de gêneros específicos podem diferir grandemente em suas • Textos linguisticamente distintos dentro de um gênero
características lingüísticas (textos em artigos de jornais podem variar de narrativo podem representar diferentes tipos de texto,
e coloquial a informativo e elaborado). • enquanto textos linguisticamente semelhantes de
• Por outro lado, diferentes gêneros podem ser semelhantes linguisticamente diferentes gêneros podem representar um único tipo de
(artigos de jornais e revistas). texto (Biber 1989: 6).

Enquanto os gêneros formam um conjunto aberto (Schauber e Spolsy, 1986), os tipos de texto constituem um conjunto fechado com apenas um
número limitado de categorias.

Text types are "a conceptual framework which enables us to classify texts in terms of communicative intentions serving an overall
rhetorical purpose" (Hatim and Mason 1990:140).

Based on cognitive properties, Werlich (1976) includes five idealized text types or modes (adopted by Hatim and Mason 1990, Albrecht
1995, Biber 1989 -based on linguistic criteria):

• description: differentiation and interrelation of perceptions in space

• narration: differentiation and interrelation of perceptions in time
• exposition: comprehension of general concepts through differentiation by analysis or synthesis
• argumentation: evaluation of relations between concepts through the extraction of similarities, contrasts, and transformations
• instruction: planning of future behavior
o with option (advertisements, manuals, recipes)
o without option (legislation, contracts)
• Excerpts from Anna Trosbor. 1997. Text Typology: Register, Genre and Text Type. Text Typology and Translation: 3-23. John

Os tipos de texto são "uma estrutura conceitual que nos permite classificar textos em termos de intenções comunicativas que
servem a um propósito retórico geral" (Hatim e Mason 1990: 140).
Baseado em propriedades cognitivas, Werlich (1976) inclui cinco tipos ou modos de texto idealizados (adotado por Hatim e Mason
1990, Albrecht 1995, Biber 1989 - baseado em critérios lingüísticos):
• descrição: diferenciação e inter-relação das percepções no espaço
• narração: diferenciação e inter-relação das percepções no tempo
• exposição: compreensão de conceitos gerais através da diferenciação por análise ou síntese
• argumentação: avaliação das relações entre conceitos através da extração de semelhanças, contrastes e transformações
• instrução: planejamento de comportamento futuro
- com opção (propagandas, manuais, receitas)
- sem opção (legislação, contratos)
• Trechos de Anna Trosbor. 1997. Tipologia de Texto: Registro, Gênero e Tipo de Texto. Tipologia de Texto e Tradução: 3-23. John


Types of texts Communicative Purpose Genres Structure

Descriptive What somebody, something, Travel guides, some reports, General presentation
some place is like. parts in Detail in (thematic, spatial, temporal...) order
Narrative What happens News, comics, history, story, Beginning
novels, jokes. Problem
Argumentative What is posed as defence, Articles, speeches, essays, Introduction /
analysis or refutation of debates, assessment Development
something Conclusion
(There are more models)
Instructive How to- Recipes, instructions, traffic Schema (step by step; order is of paramount
or Procedural signs, any how -to- text... importance)
Expository Why, how, what... Textbooks, articles, Presentation
Didactic or explanatory They’re easy to understand if encyclopedias, dictionaries Development
they’re well written. Summary/Conclusion


NARRATIVE TEXTS are about EVENTS taking place. They tell you a story. When you write a narrative, a story, you have to give readers the
setting first (people involved, time/space, problem), so that they have a framework of reference. Then you have to develop the problem
and finally solve it. WATCH OUT!: They often include DESCRIPTIONS, too, and DIALOGUES and MONOLOGUES!
Structure: Beginning – Problem - Resolution - Ending!

The purpose of narrative text is to entertain, to tell a story, or to provide an aesthetic literary experience. Narrative text is based on life
experiences and is person-oriented using dialogue and familiar language. Its structure uses that of stories. The genres that fit the
narrative text structure are: folktales (e.g. wonder tales, fables, legends, myths, realistic tales), contemporary fiction, mysteries, realistic
fiction, historical fiction.

A Story Map

Setting The place

Beginning Characters The beings involved

Problem Bloody hell! There's always a problem! Or say, the knot, the source of tension

The action that takes place

Middle Events The middle of a narrative is organized around a plot: initiating events, subsequent events, rising excitement
and climax (the high point in the story where the problem is solved).

End Resolution Solving the problem or just its outcome or ending

End The point of the story?

DESCRIPTIVE TEXTS are about information on OBJECTS themselves (people, things, landscapes…). A description can be external (picture
the whole and then move onto the different parts), functional (picture the instruments and/or parts and describe their function), or
psychological (the feeling the object described produces in the writer). Structure: marked by your point of view, which means you have to
think about the structure of your descriptive text. How are you going to organize it? Around the physical? (from top to bottom?, left to
right?, general to particular?, the other way round?), in a thematic kind of organization?, chronologically?...
INSTRUCTIONAL/PROCEDURAL TEXTS are HOW-TO texts, texts about how to do things! Structure: The structure is very clearly ordered.
First step 1, then step 2...! It begins at the beginning of the process described, moves on along with such process and ends also when the
process finishes. This means no conclusions or opinion-like endings are included.

ARGUMENTATIVE TEXTS are about ideas. They show the process of supporting or weakening another statement. "Defending a position"
means EXPLAINING the ideas & GIVING REASONS for them.
Structure:• Classical
a. Introduction (the purpose of my...)
b. Explanation of the case under consideration (there are two different approaches to this issue... historically the debate...)
c. Outline of the argument (the difficult points are the following... + as it was said above...)
d. Proofs supporting the argument (as a matter of fact... it cannot be forgotten... furthermore... what is more…)
e. Refutation (even though... it is obvious that... nobody would believe that...)
f. Conclusion (on the whole... as a result... as a conclusion... finally... summing up...)
• Pros and cons discussion: pro-con-pro-con or con-pro-con-pro.
• One-sided argument: no counterarguments.
• Eclectic approach: some of the views on the subject.
• Opposition's arguments first, author's arguments
Traditionally it has been believed…; it seems to be a fact...
• Other side questioned: no direct refutation, mainly posing questions.


The main purpose of expository text is to inform or describe. Authors who write expository texts research the topic to gain information.
The information is organized in a logical and interesting manner using various expository text structures.
Structure: Presentation – Development -Summary/Conclusion


Purpose: To amuse/entertain the readers and to tell a story
Dominant Language Features (linguistic markers):
1. Using past tense
2. Using action verbs
3. Chronologically arranged
4. Using transitions of time

Purpose: to describe a particular person, place or thing in detail.
Dominant Language Features (Linguistic markers):
1. Using simple present tense
2. Using action verbs
3. Using stative verbs
4. Using adverbs
5. Using special technical terms
6. Using adjectives

Purpose: To explain the processes involved in the formation or working of natural or socio-cultural phenomena.
Dominant Language Features (Linguistic markers):
1. Using Simple Present Tense
2. Using action verbs
3. Using passive voice
4. Using noun phrase
5. Using adverbial phrase
6. Using technical terms
7. Using general and abstract noun
8. Using conjunction of time and cause-effect.
Purpose: to help readers how to do or make something completely
Dominant Language Features (Linguistic markers):
1. Using simple present tense
2. Using Imperatives
3. Using adverbs
4. Using technical terms

Purpose: to present information and opinions about issues in more one side of an issue (‘For/Pros’ and ‘Against/Cons’)
Dominant Language Features (Linguistic markers):
1. Using Simple Present Tense
2. Using thinking verbs
3. Using general and abstract nouns
4. Using conjunctions/transition
5. Using modality
6. Using adverbs of manner


The main purpose of expository text is to inform or describe. Authors who write expository texts research the topic to gain information.
The information is organized in a logical and interesting manner using various expository text structures.

Description or Enumeration Text Pattern

Paragraphs in this pattern list pieces of information (facts, ideas, steps, etc.). The order of the fact listing may reflect the order of
importance or simply another logical order. The author may signal this pattern through the following words: one, two, first, second,
third, to begin, next, finally, most important, when, also, too, then, to begin with, for instance, for example, and in fact.

Time Order or Sequence Text Pattern

This involves putting facts, events, or concepts in order of occurrence. The author traces the development of the topic or gives the steps
in the sequence. The author may signal this pattern through the following words: on (date), not long after, now, as, before, after, when,
first, second, then, finally, during, finally, and until.

Question and Answer Text Pattern

The author asks a question and then answers it.

Comparison-Contrast Text Pattern

The author points out likenesses (comparison) and/or differences (contrast) among facts, concepts, events, people, etc. The author may
signal this pattern through the following words: however, but, as well as, on the other hand, not only...but also, either...or, while,
although, similarly, yet, unless, meanwhile, nevertheless, otherwise, compared to, and despite.

Cause-Effect Text Pattern

The author shows how facts, events, or concepts (effects) happen or come into being because of other facts, events, or concepts
(causes). The author may signal this pattern through the following words: because, cause, since, therefore, consequently, as a result,
this led to, so, so that, nevertheless, accordingly, if....then, and thus.

Problem and Solution Text Pattern

The author shows the development of a problem and the solution(s) to the problem. The author may signal this pattern through the
following words: because, cause, since, therefore, consequently, as a result, this led to, so, so that, nevertheless, accordingly, if....then,
and thus.

Source: http://www.homepages.dsu.edu/venekaml/Lewis%20and%20Clark/EXPOSITORY%20TEXT%20STRUCTURES.htm

An example of descriptive texts

I have a close Friend. She is beautiful, attractive and trendy. She always wants to be a trend setter of the day. She always pays much
attention on her appearance. Recently, she bought a new stylist foot legs from blowfish shoes products. Thes shoes really match on her.
Her new blowfish women's shoes are wonderful. When she is walking on that shoes, all her friends, including me watch and admire that
she has the most suitable shoes on her physical appearance. The style, bright color, and brand represent her as a smart woman of the
day. She really has a perfect appearance.
She is really mad on that shoes. She said that the products covered all genders. The blowfish men's shoes are as elegant as she is. The
products provide varieties of choice. Ballet, casual, boot athletic shoes are designed in attractive way. The products are international
trader mark and become the hottest trend.

An example of instructive texts

Tandoori chicken recipe

by Irene (Y5C, 2006-07, as part of her OP on Indian Food)

10 pieces of chicken (drumsticks and/or breast with skin removed)
1 cup plain yoghurt

1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon red chilli powder (adjust according to preference)
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon cumin powder
½ tablespoon mustard
½ tablespoon Garam Masala powder

Optional spices:
few pods of cardamos
pinch of saffron

Salt to taste

1. Mix all spices with yoghurt and butter to make marinating sauce.
2. Prick the chicken and apply the sauce. Cover chicken and marinate overnight inside a refrigerador (for at least 4 hrs)
3. Grill the chicken in regular way (for better result, apply melted butter to the chicken just before you grill).
4. Cook chicken until brownish (or way you prefer).
5. Serve sliced onion (ring) and lemon wedges with the tandoori chicken. Also, serve. Lemon juice can be sprinkled on the cooked chicken
to add zesty flavor.

An example of narrative texts

Once upon time, a man had a wonderful parrot. There was no other parrot like it. The parrot could say every word, except one
word. The parrot would not say the name of the place where it was born. The name of the place was Catano.
The man felt excited having the smartest parrot but he could not understand why the parrot would not say Catano. The man
tried to teach the bird to say Catano however the bird kept not saying the word.

At the first, the man was very nice to the bird but then he got very angry. “You stupid bird!” pointed the man to the parrot.
“Why can’t you say the word? Say Catano! Or I will kill you” the man said angrily. Although he tried hard to teach, the parrot would not
say it. Then the man got so angry and shouted to the bird over and over; “Say Catano or I’ll kill you”. The bird kept not to say the word of

One day, after he had been trying so many times to make the bird say Catano, the man really got very angry. He could not bear
it. He picked the parrot and threw it into the chicken house. There were four old chickens for next dinner “You are as stupid as the
chickens. Just stay with them” Said the man angrily. Then he continued to humble; “You know, I will cut the chicken for my meal. Next it
will be your turn, I will eat you too, stupid parrot”. After that he left the chicken house.

The next day, the man came back to the chicken house. He opened the door and was very surprised. He could not believe what
he saw at the chicken house. There were three dead chickens on the floor. At the moment, the parrot was standing proudly and
screaming at the last old chicken; “Say Catano or I’ll kill you”.

An example of argumentative texts

Foxhunting is a subject that provokes very strong feelings. Many people believe that it is cruel to hunt a fox with dogs and totally
agree with its ban.
Many farmer and even conservationists, however, have always argue that the fox is a pest which attacks livestock and be controlled.

An example of expository texts

Memory is critical to humans and all other living organisms. Practically all of our daily activities—talking, understanding, reading,
socializing—depend on our having learned and stored information about our environments. Memory allows us to retrieve events from
the distant past or from moments ago. It enables us to learn new skills and to form habits. Without the ability to access past experiences
or information, we would be unable to comprehend language, recognize our friends and family members, find our way home, or even tie
a shoe. Life would be a series of disconnected experiences, each one new and unfamiliar. Without any sort of memory, humans would
quickly perish.

In psychology, memory processes by which people and other organisms encode, store, and retrieve information. Encoding refers
to the initial perception and registration of information. Storage is the retention of encoded information over time. Retrieval refers to the
processes involved in using stored information. Whenever people successfully recall a prior experience, they must have encoded, stored,
and retrieved information about the experience. Conversely, memory failure—for example, forgetting an important fact—reflects a
breakdown in one of these stages of memory.

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