Posted by: helpforyourenglish | February 2, 2011

Descriptive and report texts

Descriptive texts and report texts – what’s the difference?

Anik asked: What’s the difference between descriptive texts and report texts?

There are differences in content and style – what you write and how you write it.

Descriptive texts

A descriptive text is a text that describes a person, an object, a place, an event or a thing. The text says what someone, something or a place is like. For example, if you describe your home, you will probably write or say where it is, how big it is, how many rooms there are, how old or new it is, how it is decorated and what the house is made of. You might also say if your home has a garden or yard.

Usually the person writing the descriptive text knows about the person, place or thing being described and the person reading the text does not know. The text should help the readers imagine or picture in their minds what the person, place or thing being described looks like, feels like, sounds like or smells like. Descriptive texts contain observations and descriptions and often contain a lot of adjectives and adverbs.

Report texts

Report texts also present information and can contain descriptions but reports are usually written to tell people information about some research or experiment or the results of research or experiments. Most importantly, reports contain some analysis – analysis of experiments or analysis of the research, data or information gathered.

Often (but not always) reports are technical. Reports are often formal and are not personal. The passive voice is often used in technical reports. The passive voice makes the report less personal. The focus is on the information, the process or experiment and not on the person doing the experiment or carrying out the process. Reports should be accurate and objective – facts and not feelings.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Here is a short descriptive text. It describes a bird.

Yesterday, I saw a bird in a garden in a town in southern England. The bird was quite small (about 11-12cm) and it had a small beak. It was a very colourful bird. Its belly was yellow and its wings were mostly blue but with a white stripe, its back was a greeny-yellow colour, its face was white and its neck was black. Its eyes were black, too. It had a small blue cap on top of its head. The bird was eating some nuts from a feeder that I put in the garden for birds to eat.

What kind of bird is it? Use these two websites to help you:

http://www.birdid.co.uk/IdentifyBird.asp

http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdidentifier/form.aspx

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Here is a report type text.

Evaluation of the health effects of a neighbourhood traffic calming scheme

A study was carried out to assess the impact of a traffic calming scheme in a community on Priory Road, Bristol, England. The study took place between 1 March 2010 and 31 August 2010.

Methods: Questionnaires were completed by local residents at the beginning and end of the scheme and the number of pedestrians was counted for ten days at the beginning of March 2010 and for ten days at the end of August 2010. The traffic calming scheme was located in an area containing 423 houses. Questionnaires were completed both before and after the traffic calming scheme was put in place.

Data: The average number of pedestrians counted in Priory Road at the beginning of March was 96 per day. The average number of pedestrians counted in Priory Road at the beginning of end of August was 125 per day. The number of questionnaires returned was 320. Two hundred and five (64%) of respondents said they felt their physical health had improved significantly since March 2010. Twenty nine respondents (9%) said they felt their health had improved marginally since March 2010.  Eighty six respondents (27%) said they felt no difference in their health. Nobody said they felt their health had worsened during the period.  Three hundred and ten people (97%) said they felt no difference in their mental health during the period of study and ten people (3%) said they felt a small improvement in their mental health.

Results: More pedestrians were observed in the area after the introduction of the traffic calming scheme. There was an average increase of 30 percent more pedestrians at the end of the study than before the introduction of traffic calming measures. Physical health improved significantly but mental health did not change. Traffic related problems improved but other local nuisances were reported to be worse.

Conclusions: The introduction of a traffic calming scheme is associated with improvements in health and health related behaviour.

Recommendations: Traffic calming measures should be considered in areas where residents have complained about traffic related health problems.

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Responses

  1. Thnx a lot. I get so many information from U.


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