Hortatory Text

1. Definition of Hortatory Text

A Hortatory exposition is a type of spoken or written text that is intended to explain the listeners or readers that something should or should not happen or be done. To strengthen the explanation, the speaker or writer needs some arguments as the fundamental reasons of the given idea. In other words, this kind of text can be called as argumentation. Hortatory exposition text can be found in scientific books, journals, magazines, newspaper articles, academic speech or lectures, research report etc. Hortatory expositions are popular among science, academic community and educated people. The generic structure of Hortatory exposition usually has three components: (1) Thesis, (2) Arguments and (3) Recommendation.

A.Generic Structure of Hortatory Exposition

1. Thesis : Statement or announcement of issue concern
2. Arguments : Reasons for concern that will lead to recommendation
3. Recommendation : Statement of what should or should not happen or be done based on the given arguments

B.Generic Features of Hortatory Exposition

1.A Hortatory exposition focuses on generic human and non human participants, except for speaker or writer referring to self.
2.It uses mental processes. It is used to state what the writer or speaker thinks or feels about something. For example: realize, feel etc.
3.It often needs material processes. It is used to state what happens, e.g. ….has polluted… etc.
4.It usually uses Simple Present Tense and Present Perfect Tense.
5.Enumeration is sometimes necessary to show the list of given arguments: Firstly, secondly …, Finally, etc.

Hortatory text is composed to persuade the readers. It strengthens the point to do and not to do like the writer want. To persuade the readers, a writer will use and explore arguments to support the writer’s idea about the matter. The idea which the writer want to present is called Thesis.

The thesis which is stated in the first paragraph of the exposition lead some paragraphs consist of arguments. The arguments try to prove that the thesis is an important matter needs to considered.

After all, hortatory exposition will be closed by the writer recommendation concerning about the thing discussed. Let’s look at the following example of hortatory exposition.

2. Example of Hortatory Text

Example 1:

Fasten Your Seat Belt!


A seat belt, sometimes called a safety belt, is a safety harness designed to secure the occupant of a vehicle against harmful movement that may result from a collision or a sudden stop. Why should we use seat belt?

As part of an overall occupant restraint system, seat belts are intended to reduce injuries by stopping the wearer from hitting hard interior elements of the vehicle or other passengers (the so-called second impact) and by preventing the wearer from being thrown from the vehicle.

During 2004, total accident in DKI Jakarta are 4.544 cases, with 1.146 death victims, 63% of that accident victims didn’t use seat belt . If we use seat belt, we will be safe if an accident happening to us. Of course it will decrease the number of death by fatal accident. This fact makes us realize that if we don’t use seat belt, we will endanger our life. So it’s very important to use seat belt.

For some people, using seat belt makes journey uncomfortable, makes us can’t move freely, etc. But if we used to wear it, it will be our habit. We will feel more and more comfortable if we often use it. Regardless of whether it is comfortable or not, it is very important for us to use seat belt, to save our life.

From the above reasons, there is not any reasons for us not to use seat belt. There are so many advantages of using seat belt. And so many disadvantages will we have if we do not use seat belt. I think we have to rely on one thing: our safety. Protection is better than curing. So, wear and fasten seat belt!

Generic Structure of Hortatory Exposition

This example of hortatory exposition about the importance of using seat belt while driving  has generic structure as bellow

Thesis: The first paragraph  states the thesis which using  seat belts is necessary while driving vehicles.

Argument: The second paragraph explores the function of seat belt. Seat belt is designed to reduce the impact of fatal hit in case an accident happens. The argument continue to the third paragraph that some report says that most of the death victims in the car accidents are not wearing seat belt. While the fourth paragraph, wearing seat belt will be comfortable when it has become the driver and passenger’s habit.

Recommendation: This example of hortatory text is ended with writer’s recommendation. Fastening the seat belt should be done because preventing is better than curing

Example 2:

Watch your Kids While Watching TV

Television becomes one of the most important devices which takes place in almost houses. It can unite all members of the family as well as separate them. However, is it important to know what your kids are watching? The answer is, of course, absolutely “Yes” and that should be done by all parents. Television can expose things you have tried to protect the children from, especially violence, pornography, consumerism and so on.
Recently, a study demonstrated that spending too much time on watching TV during the day or at bedtime often cause bed-time disruption, stress, and short sleep duration.
Another research found that there is a significant relationship between the amount of time spent for watching television during adolescence and early adulthood, and the possibility of being aggressive.
Meanwhile, many studies have identified a relationship between kids who watch TV a lot and being inactive and overweight.
Considering some facts mentioning above, protect your children with the following tips:

  • Limit television viewing to one-two hours each day
  • Do not allow your children to have a TV set in their own bedrooms
  • Review the rating of TV shows which your children watch
  • Watch television with your children and discuss what is happening in the show

Generic Structure of Hortatory Exposition

Firstly, we have to always remember that the social function of hortatory exposition text is driving the readers to act like the writer thought as stated in the text. Then the purpose of this hortatory is influencing and persuading the readers by presenting the supporting arguments. In many social activities, hortatory is applied for writing recommended thought, sales letter, advertising, speech campaign, and news advertorial.
Thesis: The writer’s thought is presented as thesis which is proven with several arguments. In the first paragraph, the writer points his thought about the importance of accompanying children while they are watching TV show. It is important to protect the children from the bad influences of TV show.
Arguments: The next paragraphs show the writer arguments in supporting his thesis. It is supported by various researches that there are a great relationship between watching TV and the watcher’s personality. One study describes that much time in watching TV can cause bed-time disruption. The others show the possibility of becoming an aggressive character because of watching television too much.
Recommendation: After stating the thesis and proving with various arguments, the text is completed with the writer’s recommendation on how the parents should protect the children from the bed effect of watching TV.
Basically, both hortatory and analytical exposition have the similar position. Both take place as argumentative essays. Both show how important idea of the writer to be known. However the last paragraph of the essay usually make the difference from hortatory and analytical exposition. If it is a hortatory text, it will be ended with a strong recommendation while for analytical exposition, it will be closed with restatement of the writer’s first paragraph.

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