BASIC
RECIPES

CLASS 04

"Words are also actions, and actions are a kind of words."

Ralph W. Emerson

Welcome to our weekly course! Today we'll work with certain writing purposes and how to express them in English.
Read on!

SPECIFIC PURPOSES

We have already mentioned the fact that there is always a purpose to write.

This purpose is related to your job or task, the kind of material you want to present, who will be reading it, and how familiar this person is with the topic.

Finally, you have to choose the most effective way or method to present this text: a list, a news bulletin, a pesonal letter, a report, an ad, a commercial email, etc.

Examples of writing objectives:
  • Instructing a group of people how to do a certain task,
  • Explaining a process step by step.
  • Describing a product, or comparing it with something else.
  • Persuading someone to accept your viewpoint, buy something, etc.

We will consider a few general writing objectives today and work on the usual way to present them in English.

These are the purposes we'll analyze:

1. Creating Instructions And Explaining Processes
2. Comparing Information
3. Giving Definitions Of Terms And Concepts
4. Explaining cause and effect
5. Persuading the reader

WRITING OBJECTIVES AND RELATED LANGUAGE TOPICS

-1- Creating Instructions And Explaining Processes

If you have to write instructions or explain processes, you will surely need to use:

Words that indicate time sequence, such as :
"First,... Next,... At that time,... Finally,..."
"Initially,... Then,... After that,... At last,..."

And other sequence markers.

Passive voice constructions
e.g. To install the machine, the plugs and the ventilation system have to be checked.

Imperatives
e.g. To install the machine, check the plugs and the ventilation system.



-2- Comparing Information

For example, in a marketing, sociological or economic analysis, you will find:

Comparatives and superlatives

"The XYZ system is better than the ABC system."
"Their system is more adequate than ours."


Verbs like :
"to differ from"
"to be compared to"
"to equal"
"be like"
"to resemble"
"be unlike"
"to match"
"to vary"

Check their meanings with a dictionary.

-3- Giving Definitions Of Terms And Concepts

Explanations, definitions, manuals, etc. are written in:
Simple present tense

e.g. Chemistry is the science that deals with the composition, structure, and properties of substances.


-4- Explaining cause and effect

A common writing purpose is to explain reasons and consequences of events.
There are certain words, called "connectors" to show cause and effect.
For example, "Since,..." and "Therefore,..."

Enter the following capsule to learn more about this subject...

C A P S U L E
Connectors

-5- Persuading the reader

Modal auxiliaries are used for various degrees of emphasis.
One of them is persuading.


Below there is an extensive explanation of verbs such as "Can", "Could", "May", "Might", "Must", "Have to", "Should", "Ought to", and "Would".

C A P S U L E
MODAL VERBS

"An experience isn't finished until it is written."

Anne Lindbergh


Well, we are coming to the end of the session. Before leaving, try the following suggested exercise to reinforce the grasp of today's contents:


CHECK YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Find the mistake!



That's all for our fourth class! Have a very nice week and send any comments you have.

Best regards,

: )

Your electronic teacher




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