#EngClass: Descriptive text and report text

Hi, fellas! A couple of weeks ago, one of you asked us a question on our Line account @EnglishTips4U, “What are the differences between descriptive text and report text?”
Well, this question brings me back to those old days when I was in high school- learning English through many kinds of texts. Formal education in Indonesia indeed requires us to learn some genres of text, from descriptive text to review text. Well maybe some vocational schools do not teach certain texts as they emphasize more on English expressions rather than texts, but most schools teach genres of text. Well, this time, we are going to look at descriptive text and report text. How are they different?
First, let the definitions of both distinguish them:
1.Descriptive text is a text that describes a particular person, place or thing in detail.
2.Report text is a text that describes person, place or thing in general.

See the difference?

So, descriptive text describes specific things/places/person in details and report text describes things/places/person in general.

Do you still find it confusing? Alright! If you are going to describe a cat, not a specific cat, you write a report text, but if you are going to describe a cat named Meong, which has no fur and the cat is yours, then you write a descriptive text.

Look at this question: “What is the author’s purpose of writing this text?” Does it ring a bell to you? Well, I found that many times in English test. Every text has a communicative purpose. Description text aims to present particular things, persons, place, while the purpose of report text is to present information in general.
When writing texts, we might know a text always has its own language features. Just so you know, both texts use simple present tense. Why? They both tell actual truth. But sometimes past tense is used in descriptive text when describing about something that does not exist anymore or about history. They always feature adjectives, and noun phrases.

So are there no other differences?

They have different generic structure of text. As in descriptive text, the generic structure is described as follows:
Identification: introducing what will be described – what it is and where it is
Description: describing the thing – its parts, qualities, and/or characteristics


While report text, the generic structure can be seen below:
1.General classification: stating classification of general aspect of thing, animal, etc which will be described in general
2.Description: describing the thing in details


Compiled and written by @kusumawicitra for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, February 10, 2017

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