A tsunami is a series of waves generated
when water in a lake or in the sea is rapidly
displaced on a massive scale. Earthquakes,
landslides, volcanic eruptions and large
meteorite impacts all have the potential to
generate a tsunami. The effects of a
tsunami can range from unnoticeable to
The term of tsunami comes from the Japanese language meaning
harbour (tsu) and wave (nami). Although in Japanese tsunami is
used for both singular and plural, in English “tsunamis” is wellestablished as the plural. The term was created by fisherman who
returned to port to find the area surrounding the harbor devastated,
although they had not been aware of any wave in the open water. A
tsunami is not a sub-surface event in the deep ocean; it simply has a
much smaller amplitude (wave heights) offshore, a very long
wavelength (often hundreds kilometers long), which is why they
generally pass unnoticed at sea, forming only a passing “hump” in
Tsunamis have been historically referred to as “tidal waves”
because as they approach land they take on the
characteristics of a violent onrushing tide rather than the
sort of cresting waves that are formed by wind action upon
the ocean (with which people are more familiar). However,
since they are not related to tides, the term is considered
misleading and its usage is discouraged by oceanographers.
To enable the readers to understand or explain the processes
involved in the formation or the working of natural, social,
scientific and cultural phenomena.
General Statement : present the subject that is going
to be explained.
Explanation : supports the following paragraphs. The
explanation statements are illustrated in sequence.
Focus on generic, non-human participants, e.g.
chocolate, tree, tsunami, etc.
Simple present tense, e.g. chocolate starts with a tree,
Adverbial phrases, e.g. especially for, generally known as,
Noun phrases, e.g. cacao tree, tree seeds, etc.
Action Verbs, e.g. the chocolate maker starts by roasting
Passive voice, e.g. the beans are fermented for about a
EXAMPLE OF EXPLANATION
Reports on natural phenomena,
articles on scientific inventions,