English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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English: skills for learning

1.1 Types and structure of everyday writing

When we write, we communicate with other people. Birthday cards, Post-it notes and text messages are all ways to send other people messages containing information. Even a personal diary and a to-do list may be read initially only by the writer, but may be shared or read in the future by other people.

Communication is therefore the main reason why people write. The particular purpose of each piece of writing depends on the situation and the people we communicate with. For example, many of us leave little notes on the fridge to remind ourselves and others to do important chores or to wish them well.

The way our texts are organised varies depending on our reason for writing and our relationship with the person or persons who will read our messages.

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All texts, even the simplest everyday ones, are written for a purpose. When we write, we have this purpose and our readers in mind and this helps us to structure our texts.

Some texts are easy to write because we understand their purpose, they are part of our culture and we are familiar with their typical structure. However, approaching unfamiliar text types may be challenging unless we know why we are writing them and how they should be organised. In many cases a model of a particular type of text or a more experienced person can help.

The next sections introduce some texts you may not be familiar with. You will look at texts written by university students, the reasons why they are written and the ways in which they are organised.

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