Structure by Function

When a writer describes in great detail how something is made or done, he or she is said to write a "how-to" book. When a writer writes a book that shows the reader how to make something perform its intended function, it's called a technical manual. How-to books and technical manuals (and I've written both) are generally not written "creatively"; their purpose is not to entertain but to instruct. Once in a great while, one may be entertaining as well as instructive, but as a genre, they're usually more informative than entertaining.

Two popular variations on structure by function are How Things Function and How Things Come to Be. These are not academically pure categories, but they do give us a way to discuss structure by function.

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