Of Rhetoric and Grammar, Register and Genre

A Functional Grammar for Writers - Derek Irwin

Derek Irwin [+-]
University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
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Derek Irwin is the Head of School for the founding of the School of English at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. He completed his BA (Hon) in Theatre and Literature at the University of Guelph, his MA in English Literature at York University, and his PhD specializing in Canadian Literature and Textual Analysis at York University, Canada. He spent eight years as an ESL instructor in various locations before turning to systemic functional linguistics as a framework for language inquiry. He was a grammar and writing instructor at York University, and a founding faculty member of Lakehead University's Orillia campus, before joining the University of Nottingham, first at the Ningbo China campus and then on to Malaysia. He supervises PhD students in several areas, including second-language pedagogy, genre and text analysis, language modelling, language contact, identity and culture. His most recent critical work focuses on grammatical resources for lexical movement across languages, literary textual analysis, and writing for post-secondary students.
Viktoria Jovanovic-Krstic [+-]
University of Toronto
Viktoria Jovanovic-Krstic is a sessional faculty member at the University of Toronto and a faculty member at Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Jovanovic-Krstic teaches for the Writing and Rhetoric Program and The Faculty of Applied Arts and Science respectively. Her research interests are located in Appraisal Analysis, Business Communications and writing and rhetoric. She teaches courses in writing, rhetoric, and communications. She has published in the areas of war discourse, writing pedagogy, and reading and writing theory


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.

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Irwin, Derek; Jovanovic-Krstic, Viktoria. Of Rhetoric and Grammar, Register and Genre. A Functional Grammar for Writers. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Mar 2024. ISBN 9781781792469. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=26428. Date accessed: 08 Jun 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.26428. Mar 2024

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