Glossary

A grammatical category marked by a verb in which the situation described in the clause is located in time. For example, present tense ‘has’ in ‘Sarah has a headache’ locates the situation in present time, while past tense ‘had’ in ‘Sarah had a headache’ locates it in past time.

However, the relation between grammatical tense and (semantic) time is not always as simple as this. For example, present tense is typically used to talk about:

  • present states, as in ‘He lives in Darwin’
  • actions that happen regularly in the present, as in ‘He watches television every night’
  • ‘timeless’ happenings, as in information reports such as ‘Bears hibernate in winter’
  • references to future events, as in ‘The match starts tomorrow’ where the tense is present but the time future. Likewise in ‘I thought the match started tomorrow’ where the subordinate clause ‘the match started tomorrow’ has past tense but refers to future time.

The ways in which information is organised in different types of texts (for example, chapter headings, subheadings, tables of contents, indexes and glossaries, overviews, introductory and concluding paragraphs, sequencing, topic sentences, taxonomies, cause and effect). Choices in text structures and language features together define a text type and shape its meaning. Examples of text structures in literary texts include sonnets, monologues and hypertext.

The ways in which information is organised in different types of texts (for example, chapter headings, subheadings, tables of contents, indexes and glossaries, overviews, introductory and concluding paragraphs, sequencing, topic sentences, taxonomies, cause and effect). Choices in text structures and language features together define a text type and shape its meaning. Examples of text structures in literary texts include sonnets, monologues and hypertext.

The main idea or message of a text.

Tone describes the way the ‘voice’ is delivered. For example, the tone of a voice or the tone in a passage of writing could be friendly or angry or persuasive.

Classifications of texts according to the particular purposes they are designed to achieve. In general, in the senior subjects in the Australian Curriculum: English, texts are classified as imaginative, interpretive, analytical or persuasive types of texts, although these distinctions are neither static nor discrete and particular texts can belong to more than one category.

Analytical texts

Texts whose primary purpose is to identify, examine and draw conclusions about the elements or components that make up other texts. Analytical texts develop an argument or consider or advance an interpretation. Examples of these texts include commentaries, essays in criticism, reflective or discursive responses and reviews.

Imaginative texts

Texts whose primary purpose is to entertain or provoke thought through their imaginative use of literary elements. They are recognised for their form, style and artistic or aesthetic value. These texts include novels, traditional tales, poetry, stories, plays, fiction for young adults and children including picture books, and multimodal texts such as film.

Interpretive texts

Texts whose primary purpose is to explain and interpret personalities, events, ideas, representations or concepts. They include autobiography, biography, media feature articles, documentary film and other non-fiction texts. There is a focus on interpretive rather than informative texts in the senior years of schooling.

Persuasive texts

Texts whose primary purpose is to put forward a point of view and persuade a reader, viewer or listener. They form a significant part of modern communication in both print and digital environments. They include advertising, debates, arguments, discussions, polemics and essays and articles.