Writing An Explanation

Learn about explanation writing!

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Explanation writing can help improve your child’s writing as it involves important writing skills that are applicable in all types of writing. An effective explanation piece will successfully outline and explain an answer to a question, which is a great skill for all children to practice. This article examines what an explanation is, why it matters, and some tips for explanation writing!

What is explanation writing?

As previously mentioned, explanation writing answers a question and explains a key subject. In this type of writing, your child can use the words "how" and "why" to explain the answers to whatever important questions they are addressing in their article. It can also describe a specific action or event. Explanation writing needs to include several components to ensure the reader fully comprehends your main points.

Why does explanation writing matter?

Explanation writing matters because it’s important to for a child to be able to explain themselves in writing. Explanation pieces provide a lot of information on a topic, and are therefore key for information sharing. It also helps your child, as a writer, advance in their writing and critical thinking abilities. It’s tricky to thoroughly explain a topic, so explanation writing can be good thing to practice regularly.

Tips for explanation writing

  1. Start with a question including how or why. Example: Why do giraffes have long necks?
  2. Have a clear introduction explaining the topic.
  3. Use linking words and phrases to help your writing feel cohesive when moving between ideas.
  4. Use cause and effect words to explain your topic thoroughly.
  5. Consider using numbered points if you see fit. Consider adding pictures or diagrams if that will help your readers understand your point even better.

Linking Words/Phrases & Cause/Effect Words

As mentioned previously, both linking phrases and cause and effect words can help make explanation writing cohesive and clear. To help your child with linking words and phrases, we’ve created a list of some that they can reference when writing their next explanation piece:

  1. Firstly,
  2. Additionally,
  3. Furthermore,
  4. Secondly,
  5. Lastly,
  6. Finally,
  7. Likewise,
  8. Similarly,
  9. In conclusion,
  10. Moreover,

These linking words and phrases can be helpful in explanation writing when you’re transitioning between ideas in your writing. Additionally, cause and effect words can help your readers understand how ideas are related to each other. We have an entire lesson on cause and effect, which could be helpful to check out: Cause and Effect Words.

Activity & Resource

We’ve also included a resource page for your child to reference with some basic information and tips about explanation writing. This acts as a summary of what we’ve reviewed so far, so this will be helpful when your child begins their first explanation article!

Infographic on explanation writing
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