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Book: A Functional Grammar for Writers

Chapter: Of Rhetoric and Grammar, Register and Genre

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.26428


This chapter ties together the previous grammatical knowledge with the overall structures introduced in Chapter 5 (it further serves to tie this book together with SWYT?, as that text concentrates much more fully on argument structures and other rhetorical techniques in writing). It introduces the idea of a text type being a particular register configuration of Field (topic), Tenor (reader-writer relationship), and Mode (channel of communication). This register leads the writer to choose a particular underlying pattern of text which is designed to serve a particular social purpose (in this case, an essay designed to convince an instructor of a certain achievement in knowledge and understanding). In being able to deliberately employ structures in the purpose of argument, the writer will be much more successful at achieving his or her aims: a better grade.
By the end of this chapter, the reader will understand how all texts are read in terms of a genre, and are also judged in terms of the writer’s mastery of the genre, along with grammatical features. Using this knowledge, writers will be able to consciously construct more successful texts for their purposes, employing the previous grammatical knowledge into larger system structures.

Chapter Contributors

  • Derek Irwin ( - dirwin) 'University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus'
  • Viktoria Jovanovic-Krstic ( - vkrstic) 'University of Toronto'