Students are asked to write many different kinds of texts. Depending on your subject, these could be essays, laboratory reports, case-studies, book reviews, reflective diaries, posters, research proposals, and so on and are normally referred to as genres. These different genres, though, can be constructed from a small range of different text types.
If, for example, you are asked to write an essay to answer the following question:
Discuss possible solutions to the problem of international credit control.
You could answer it in the following way:
So in order to answer the question you need to be able to write texts to do the following:
Bruce (2008) calls these various texts cognitive genres, but I have called them Rhetorical Functions: see Functions.
Here, we will pull together these different functional text types to show how the larger genres (or part genres) you are expected to write can be constructed from these shorter functional texts.
But, first you need to decide which genre you are expected to write. Which genre am I expected to write?