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REPORT text…

September 12, 2008

Dear students…

There are so many questions about Report. I’m going to to give you short explanation. hope
you’ll understand easily.

Well, it’s absolutely different between REPORT text and Laporan dalam bahasa Indonesia.
Report as one of the genres that we learn does not mean laporan in Indonesia. So, what is a
report text? Report means a text which describe things in general. It’s a little bit different from
descriptive text which describe specific thing. To tell the facts of the things described, the writer
usually uses present simple tense. Kecuali bendanya sudah punah, seperti dinosaurus. Penulis
atau pembicara akan menggunakan simple past tense jika benda yang diceritakan sudah punah,
alias dah jadul. Report text contains the class or subclass of the topic described, and then
followed by telling the shape, parts, behaviour, etc in details.

Kalian pasti pernah mendeskripsikan sesuatu, bisa berupa hewan, tumbuhan, benda, dan hal lain
secara umum. Contoh nyata jika ada turis asing yang meminta kalian menjelaskan tentang
karakteristik orang Indonesia, kalian pasti akan mendeskripsikan orang Indonesia secara umum
bukan mendeskripsikan diri kamu sendiri tentunya. Atau dalam pelajaran Biologi, kalian
biasanya mempelajari karakteristik hewan secara umum, baik itu kelasnya (classification) hingga
mempelajari sifat-sifat hewan tersebut secara detail (description).

Dalam bahasa Indonesia kita mengenal teks deskripsi. Namun dalam pelajaran bahasa Inggris
teks deskripsi dibedakan menjadi dua bagian, yaitu descriptive dan report.

Yang harus diingat adalah Report adalah jenis teks yang mendeskripsikan sesuatu secara umum.
Beda dengan Descriptive yang mendeskripsikan sesuatu secara spesifik atau tertentu (alias cuma
satu). Contoh: Ada dua teks tentang komputer yaitu “Computer” dan “My Own Computer”,
kalau dilihat dari judulnya kedua teks tersebut beda jenis teksnya: Computer (Umum; jenis
teksnya Report); My own computer (Khusus, kan cuma komputer saya, makanya jenis teksnya
Descriptive).

For example:

For many years, many people believed that the cleverest animals after man were the chimpanzees. Now, however, there is proof that
dolphins may be even cleverer than these big apes.

Although a dolphin lives in the sea it is not a fish. It is a mammal. It is in many ways, therefore, like a human being.

Dolphins have a simple language. They are able to talk to one another. It may be possible for man to learn how to talk to dolphins. But
this will not be easy because dolphins cannot hear the kind of sounds man can make. If man wants to talk to dolphins, therefore, he will have to
make a third language which both he and the dolphins can understand.
Dolphins are also very friendly toward man. They often follow ships. There are many stories about dolphins guiding ships through
difficult and dangerous water.

Text di atas menjelaskan tentang dolphin secara umum. Di paragraf kedua tercantum jelas bahwa
dolphin belongs to mammal. Ini menjelaskan bahwa dophin termasuk ke dalam kelas mamalia.
Di paragraf ketiga dan selanjutnya menjelaskan tentang kebiasaan dari dolphin secara umum.

Contoh lain:

A razor is a tool which is found in nearly every bathroom. A man who has thick hair on his face may have to shave twice a day. It is a
habit which can be dangerous. For many years, a razor was a handle with a long piece of steel which was sharp and flat at one end. These razors
had a long open blade.

But today’s razors are safer and more convenient to use. The thing which makes today’s razor safe is that the blade is small thin
sharp piece of steel. The person who invented razor blades was a man called King Gillette. He was a clever man who had many ideas for new
inventions. He wanted to make a blade that was safe and which could be used several times. In 1891, he invented a new type of razor blade. It
was short and it was held in a special handle. The sharp edge of the blade did not stick out very far. It was a razor which was safe to use. It
was more difficult to cut yourself than with the older type of razor.

Gillette’s razor blade became popular. It was an invention which worked well and which everybody need because each blade only
lasted 8 to 10 times. Gillette sold many of his new safety blades and soon became a millionaire.

Teks di atas menceritakan tentang benda mati yaitu razor. Di paragraf awal menggambarkan
tentang suatu alat berupa razor secara umum. Di paragraf berikutnya menjelaskan tentang bagian
dan bentuk dari razor.

It’s clear that both of the texts above describe things in general. Report teks biasanya kita
temukan dalam buku-buku ilmiah, science khususnya.

Social Function:

Describe the way things are (for example: a man-made thing, animals, plants). The things must
be a representative of their class.

Text organization/Generic Structure:

1. General classification (Introduce the topic of the report, such as: the class or the subclass)
2. Description (tell the shape/form, parts, behaviour, habitat, way of survival)