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Types of texts: what they are and their characteristics

Written texts can be of different types according to criteria such as the discursive function, the intention with which they have been produced, whether they are literary or non-literary texts or even digital texts. There are a wide variety of categories, but they are not exclusive: the same text can contain characteristics of different types.

Don’t know what types of text there are? Knowing the types of texts you can read or write will help you identify them and know how to interpret them. It is an essential factor to understand what the author wants to convey in each of the paragraphs she writes. To discover the types of texts: what they are and their characteristics , at OneHOWTO we recommend that you continue reading this article.

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Descriptive text

The purpose of descriptive text types is to define something : a person, an object, a situation, an animal, or a description of some different type of text. It is also used to express feelings.

The attributes of a thing are taken as the central axis of descriptive texts, usually using forms of the third person pronoun. There are two types of descriptive texts: technical (emphasis on exact data) and literary (author’s intention with personal descriptions).

Narrative text

If you wonder what a narrative is, you should know that this type of text tells stories , events, tales, myths and specific facts, which can be real or fictional. Narrative texts are characterized by stringing together a sequence of events using dynamic verbs to express them, as well as spatial connectors and adverbs such as “first”, “and then”, “second” or “third”.

The past is the most used verb form in a type of narrative text with the preterite perfect, reserving the use of the present only to reproduce dialogues between characters.

directive text

A directive text is intended to encourage the reader to do something, so it is a type of instructional text. It explains how to do or develop an activity, as well as carry out an objective. The logical order is essential in this type of text, as well as establishing cause and effect relationships and an order from greater to lesser importance. Instruction manuals are a good example of directive text.

Expositive text

Are you wondering what an expository text is? This typology aims to explain, expose a topic without the author of his personal opinion. Therefore, they provide figures and relevant facts regardless of opinions. School books usually contain many expository texts as they include explanations and definitions. See more information in How to write an expository text?

In addition, the expository text has a very simple structure :

  • Introduction : it has an introduction to make the subject known.
  • Development – ​​Continue development with objective analysis, data, and examples.
  • Conclusion : it ends with a conclusion to summarize the fundamental aspects of the subject matter. The purpose of this type of text is to inform.

Argumentative text

What is an argumentative text? This typology is based on an assumption with a writing style focused on persuading the reader by stating reasons in favor of or against a thesis or position. The text begins with an exposition to help understand the proposed arguments.

In this way, the reader is put in context before exposing the benefits or characteristics of the subject matter. In addition, bibliographical references are often used so that the arguments gain credibility and validity. Some examples of argumentative text are those that add arguments of authority, cause-effect and popularity.

administrative text

It is a type of text similar to the legal one , however it is not as rigid as this one. On the other hand, the administrative text is also usually referred to with the term legal-administrative text. One of the most noteworthy characteristics of this type of text is that it has a normative nature and that it makes use of a specialized language.

In addition, its structure is made up of, firstly, the issuer identification ; the justification of the reason for communication and, finally, the proposed resolution of a problem or conflict. Next, we present several examples of this typology:

  • The contracts .
  • Payment certifications or notifications.
  • The circular ones.
  • Minutes of agreements.
  • Memos or letters of thanks.

legal text

These types of texts are used in the judicial field and have the function of communicating a normative content in which the rights and obligations that the legal system embraces are clearly stated. Therefore, they contain old terms and technicalities, in addition to using conservative and formal language.

Other notable characteristics of the type of legal text are:

  • Logical and progressive order of the contents , which stand out for their objectivity.
  • The objectivity of legal texts avoids any type of erroneous or ambiguous interpretation. They contain sentences written in the third person singular, reflex passive and impersonal.
  • The repetition of words is frequent, especially in key concepts to avoid ambiguities.

Cientific text

It is a type of text whose purpose is to show the advances made in research, since they are the result of the practice of studies. In this way, address issues related to the development or presentation of theories or concepts related to science.

Some examples of scientific texts are articles in scientific magazines and weekly papers, reports and monographs, conferences or presentations, and informative texts. If you want to make one, we leave you this article to help you: How to write a scientific article .

Other characteristics of the scientific text type are, for example:

  • Use of formal writing .
  • Use of technical language.
  • Elaboration of a coherent structure .
  • Contribution of information, which is always presented in a referenced form.

Advertising text

The purpose of developing advertising content is to persuade readers to get them to purchase a product or hire a particular service. For this reason, the type of advertising text seeks to attract the attention of consumers and creates an understandable and attractive message for its target audience.

We can find examples of advertising texts in slogans and copys . These are characterized by seeking the growth of a business through the creation of content that is an incentive for consumption. Therefore, the message must be original, clear, coherent, concise, identifying and striking.

Literary text

These are types of texts of great literary aesthetics, which is why they are considered works of art . They stand out for the use of a metaphorical language , full of emotion and expressiveness. Some examples of literary texts are stories, poetry, stories and certain essays.

In addition, a literary text can narrate real or purely fantastic events, through unconventional forms of writing with the aim of embellishing the message. The purpose of this typology is to move the reader or catch him in the story. It also seeks to make you reflect or even transmit some vital teaching. If you want to know more about this topic, we recommend you consult our post on What are the literary genres.

humanistic text

One type of humanistic text revolves around some topic of human relations such as sociology or philosophy. Now, this typology is not a formal text, as a scientific text is. On the other hand, the objective of a humanistic text is to create reflections in the readers, through the transmission of cultural values ​​and ideas.

digital text

The revolution of new technologies has changed human relationships and the way of communicating. These changes have influenced the texts, acquiring great power in the digital field.

The types of digital texts are those that you can find in digital magazines and blogs . It is a medium characterized by informative immediacy and easy access to the content found, so the reader does not usually read these texts completely: he simply scans them to find the information that interests him most.

journalistic text

The journalistic texts intend to inform , but they also have the option of contributing an opinion . They have journalistic communication as their purpose and can be found both in digital media and in paper newspapers. If you need to know how to write a type of journalistic text, we can help you with our article on How to write a journalistic article .

dramatic text

Dramatic texts tell a story through dialogue . The facts are divided into scenes or acts. The stories can be real or fictional, with one or more characters carrying out the action and with the possibility of including stage directions (margin notes indicated by the author to give instructions to the actors). The theater and its genres such as comedy , tragedy or farce are based on these dramatic texts.

lyrical text

The lyrical texts have a literary character , with emotionally charged ideas and a language as rich as it is careful. The use of literary figures such as comparison, metaphor and hyperbole is frequent.

These types of texts express feelings from the point of view of the author or the characters with a very strong aesthetic component (both in content and in form, with a number of syllables in each line and the use of rhymes). They can be written in prose or in verse.