Friday, 23 January 2009


Reports are used for many purposes. They are to provide information about natural and non-natural phenomena, to document, to organize and store factual information on a topic, to classify and describe the phenomena about a whole class of things –living and non living, to describe the way things are. Reports can be used in textbooks, encyclopedias, scientific magazines, historical texts, factual reading books, reference books, classroom lesson, environment program, TV documentaries, magazines etc. a report text has its own generic structure. It has two components namely (1) general classification, (2) description.

Reports are principally not the same as descriptions although they can be used interchangeable.

A.Generic Structure of Report:

1.General Classification : tells what the phenomenon under discussion is
2.Descriptions : tells what the phenomenon under discussion is like in terms of: Parts (and their function), Qualities and Habits or behaviour


1. Difference between reports and descriptions: Repots classify and describe a whole class of things e.g. “Houses”. By contrast, descriptive texts talk about on specific person, place or thing e.g. “My houses”. In short, reports deal with general classification and description of a thing while descriptions describe a particular thing.

2. The description can cover the facts about various aspects of the object (colour, shape, habits, behaviour etc), giving examples, comparing and contrasting, describing components and their functions.

B. Generic Features of Report

1. Report texts usually used Simple Present Tense, and seldom use past tenses (if the thing is extinct)
2. The language is neutral or should be objective: no expression of opinions, no reference to the reader (not using “I”, “we” or “you”).
3. Frequent use of “Passive Sentence”.
4. Use of “be”: is, am, are, was, were for the classification.
5. Use of verb “have”: have, has, had, in order to give detail description.
6. Use of action verbs related to the topic, especially when describing behaviours.
7. Use of adjectives in describing especially the qualities.
8. Often accompanied by photos, diagrams, maps and illustrations.

Now read this text of Report!

What is Apiculture?

General Classification

Apiculture is also called a bee-farming, the cultivation of bees on a commercial scale for the production of honey. Royal jelly and bee pollen are the other products of it. There are many species of bee. Some of them are Apis Cerana, Apis Dorsata, Apis florae and Apis Malifera. Among those species, Apis Malifera is the most productive and the easiest to be cultivated.


A bee colony consists of one queen, a lot of worker bees and some drones, stingless male bees in a colony of social bees (especially honeybees) whose sole function is to mate with the queen. Each group has its specific duty. The queen, for example, only lays eggs, the drones have duty to copulate the queen, and the workers have to take care of the queen, drones and larvae. They are also responsible for seeking flowers and nectar.


To obtain good production, the farmers have to be able to provide the most productive flowers nearby the cultivation or they have to travel through forests, bushes, and plantations to find them. The best flowers can produce ample material for bee products. Many people like to consume honey because it is believed to give benefit for health, The Holy Koran says that the bee stomach produces some liquid that is very beneficial for human health.

Read this report text!

General Classification

A volcano is a mountain which is formed by the eruption of material from the earth’s interior through a central opening or groups of openings. Volcanoes are scattered over the world. Volcanoes can be divided into three categories based on volcano forms and type of volcanic activities. They are Shield, Composite and Explosion volcanoes


A shield volcano is formed chiefly of layers of basalt (a dark, heavy lava). A few shield volcanoes are composed of andesite ( a related, less dense type of lava).


A composite volcano has more frequent and violent explosive eruptions than shield volcanoes do. Lava may be extruded from either central crater or fissures on a volcano’s sides.


Explosion volcanoes are composed of inclined layers of pyroclastic debris and contain no lava. During the eruption, debris is ejected from the crater. Most explosion volcanoes are formed during one period of eruption

To make it clear, please remember the concept of Report text below!


Social Function:

To describe the way things are, with reference to a range of natural, man-made and social phenomena in our environment.

Schematic Structure:

General statement/ classification: introduces the topic of the reports
Description : provide details of topic such as physical appearance, behaviour, landform and uses (typically organized in paragraph)

1. Simple Present Tense is mostly used in the report text either in active sentences or in passive sentences.
2.The use of Relational process, such as: is, consist of, function as, derive from, to be classified into, to be identified as etc.
3.The use of special nouns that denotes the characteristics of the thing such as: features, forms, functions, species etc.
4.The use of special technical terms such as: the parts of the body (e.g: brain, vein, vascular), the parts of the tree (e.g: stem, root, leaf, branch), the parts of machine (e.g: gear, screw, bolt etc).
5.No temporal sequences are used. If there is (e.g: first, second, third, the last etc). it only indicates numbering not an event.

Cahyono, Kristiawan Dwi and Eka Purnama.2006. Communicative Competence 2B: A course in Acquiring English Communicative Competence, For Senior High School Level, Grade XI Semester 2. Jombang: CV Karunia Agung

Sudarwati and Eudia Grace.2007. Look Ahead: An English Course for Senior High School Students Year XI, Science and Social Study Program. Jakarta: Erlangga

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