Genre Features

Topics: Grammatical person, Oxford English Dictionary, First person Pages: 10 (1900 words) Published: October 28, 2013
Teacher’s Guide for Worksheet One
The structural and linguistic features of the types of writing introduced in Worksheet One are defined and summarized as follows. This is just a guide to some typical and common features and is not meant to be an exhaustive list. Features may also vary in different communicative contexts.

I. Informal Letter
A letter is ‘a missive communication in writing, addressed to a person or body of persons; an epistle’ (From Oxford English Dictionary OED online. URL: Typical informal contexts are writing to family members, relatives and friends, and love letters. Structure of a Personal Letter

1. Date – This is the date when the letter is written
2. Greetings and Name of Recipient – The greeting usually starts with the word ‘Dear’ followed by the given name of the recipient or relationship and it ends with a comma. Two examples are shown: ‘Dear Ronald,’ ‘Dear Uncle,’.

3. Introduction – This is the opening of a letter. It may include greetings like ‘How are you?’. Sometimes, you may refer to a previous letter.
4. Body – This is the main body of the letter. It includes the message that the writer wants to tell the recipient. It is often divided into paragraphs.
5. Closure – This part indicates the letter is going to end. The writer may ask the recipient to reply here.
6. Complimentary Close – This short expression includes a few words on one line. It ends with a comma. Some examples are shown below.
‘Yours sincerely,’

‘Best regards,’ ‘Love,’

7. Signature – the signature of the writer
Language Use in an Informal Letter
1. Formality and Accuracy – Formal and accurate grammar and spelling are expected, depending on the relationship between the writer and the recipient. 2. Style – Language use may be personal. For example, first and second person pronouns may be frequently used.


© 2002-2004. Quality Education Fund Project 2002/0384 (Project Leader: Dr. A. B. Bodomo). All Rights Reserved.

II. Diary
A diary is ‘a daily record of events or transactions, a journal; specifically, a daily record of matters affecting the writer personally, or which come under his personal observation’ (From Oxford English Dictionary OED online. URL:

Structure of a Diary
1. Date & Day of the Week – This is the date when the diary is written. 2. Weather – This is the weather of the day when the diary is written. 3. Body – This is the main body of the diary. It usually records what the author has done during the day. It is often developed into paragraph and the length may vary. Language Use in a Diary

1. Sentence structure – Brief, short and often fragmented: ‘Went to church today. Had dinner with friends….’.
2. Formality and Accuracy – Informal. Accuracy may not be very important for a diary 3. Style – Highly personal. For example, the first person singular pronoun ‘I’ may be frequently used.


© 2002-2004. Quality Education Fund Project 2002/0384 (Project Leader: Dr. A. B. Bodomo). All Rights Reserved.

IlI. Email
An email/electronic mail is ‘the sending of non-spoken information between individuals over a telecommunication network to a selected location or locations where it is stored for subsequent retrieval in a computer; information sent in this way’ (From Oxford English Dictionary OED online. URL:

Structure of an Email
The format of an email may be very similar to that of an informal letter. However, certain necessary parts of an informal letter may become optional, e.g. introduction, closure and complimentary close. Necessary parts in an email are shown below: 1. a. Date and Time of Sending the Email

b. Email Addresses of the Sender and the Recipient(s)
c. Title of the Email (Subject)
Note that Parts 1(a)-(c) do not need to be input by the sender, as most emailing system will automatically include such information.
2. Greetings and Name of Recipient(s) – e.g. ‘Hi, Sam,’ or ‘Dear Sam,’ 3. Body – This is the main body of the letter....
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