23 junio, 2024

Didactic text: characteristics, structure, types and examples

He didactic text It is the text aimed at teaching. Didactics is a pedagogical-scientific discipline that studies the elements present in the teaching-learning processes.

The purpose of the didactic text will be, thus, the teaching of a subject through an educational orientation. For this, it will use pedagogical guidelines accepted by the educational communities to which the author belongs, so that the final objective is duly fulfilled.

In a clear, direct and concise way, it transmits information to the reader, and it will vary according to the addressee: whether to primary, high school or university students.

Didactic texts are school books of all levels, monographs, scientific and expository texts, encyclopedias and even children’s fables, since the objective is to educate, impart knowledge to the recipient, so that he increases his culture and knowledge, in an organized way. and progressive.


Characteristics of didactic texts

Although it could be said that literature in its beginnings had a didactic intention, little by little this discipline appropriated other discursive strategies to transmit information, adopting the form of an essay or a treatise, where a subject is exposed and analyzed exhaustively.

However, today a didactic text is considered a support for the teacher to teach classes, with quite particular characteristics.

Presentation, design and organization

In a didactic text, the content elements are organized in such a way that they induce the cognitive disposition of the reader. In other words, the organization is made in such a way that learning is easy.

Graduality of information

The information is arranged in an order of relevance, from the simplest and easiest to the most difficult to understand. As reading progresses, the user may be able to understand increasingly complex concepts.

Elements of interaction and interpretation

The didactic text is characterized, among other things, because it provides abundant examples and activities that the reader can and should carry out to verify the didactic purpose. These activities should ideally stimulate the application of what has been learned through exercises.

appropriate language

Depending on the level, the language used in this type of text is simple and clear. The appellative function is fundamental, so a large majority will address the reader (“tú”, “usted”, “vosotros”) or adopt impersonal forms, with verbs in the 3rd person and the particle HE.

In any case, the language will be appropriate to the type of reader and their level of competence, always considering that the reader may have a very poor foundation on certain topics.

Cognitive and psycholinguistic psychology

Since didactics and teaching are the main purposes of these texts, it is necessary to apply concepts and strategies related to cognitive psychology, which refer to the ways in which information must be structured to be easily understood.

Psycholinguistics, for its part, helps the formulation of language and the understanding of the linguistic, cognitive and psychological processes that are executed in the brain of each reader when appropriating knowledge.

In this way, whoever prepares the didactic texts will take these elements into account.

Structure of didactic texts

Although, as stated at the beginning, monographs and scientific and expository texts enter as examples of didactic text, the structure of this text may differ to some degree when taking school textbooks into account.

In them, the structure is quite precise and as far as possible it must be followed. It consists of five large blocks.

Preface, introduction

Here the purpose of the particular work is established and explained: to whom it is directed, the teaching objectives, the organization of the text (in terms of themes and contents), the general structure of the themes, and also includes a guide to use the text.

Thematic structure

In this part, the topics and contents to be dealt with are exposed, as well as a brief introduction to each topic.

Next, would come the proper development of each particular topic, and a section of recommended readings to expand the information.

It would follow another section of activities and exercises, and another of self-assessment, both with the purpose of allowing readers to learn and apply the knowledge acquired throughout the text. It usually ends with a summary, with the most significant points of the topic.


All didactic text must include the specific terminology that it handles, as well as the introduction of new terms. This makes it easier to understand the concepts.


The sources from which the information was taken to write the text are indicated.


It is a section where the correct answers to all the exercises and questions that were raised in the development of the contents are grouped. It is especially important in scientific books, such as those on mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, etc.

Types of didactic text


Encyclopedias are reference works that summarize knowledge. There are scientific, literary, general encyclopedias, etc., where the information is gathered alphabetically or thematically.

Its intention is objective and aims to gather the greatest amount of information in a brief and orderly manner.


They are books whose content is specific to the subjects taught in schools and universities. They are usually designed according to school levels, include illustrations, drawings, diagrams and bullets of all kinds to facilitate the understanding of concepts.


They are short literary compositions, in prose or verse, where the characters are usually animals or inanimate objects. They all speak and behave like humans, and their purpose is to teach correct ethical behaviors.

They always end with a moral or lesson on the subject matter. The best known are those of the Greek Aesop.

Examples of didactic texts

Example 1: encyclopedic didactic text

«Psycholinguistics: branch of psychology that studies the way in which the human species acquires the ability of language, as well as the cognitive mechanisms necessary for the processing of linguistic information.»

Example 2: Fable of the hare and the tortoise (fable)

“Once upon a time there was a vain hare who boasted of his speed. The annoyed tortoise challenged her to a race, which the arrogant hare accepted. All the animals gathered to watch the race.

At the bear’s signal, the tortoise and the hare came out, and the hare, proud and contemptuous, immediately passed her, while telling her that she was a fool to think that she could beat him. Confident, the hare decided to rest under a tree. The cool breeze from her lulled her, and she fell asleep.

Meanwhile, the turtle, tireless, walked and walked without stopping. She found the sleeping hare, and continued, until she approached the goal. All the animals began to scream excitedly and woke up the hare, who was so far away that it was impossible for him to reach the goal. And the turtle won.

Moral: don’t make fun of others and always have a good attitude. Constancy is more valuable than speed.»


Angle, T.A. (1996). The expository-explanatory text: its superstructure and textual characteristics. Didactic Magazine. Language and Literature, vol. 8, p. 29. Taken from ucm.es.
Marinkovich, J. (2005). The strategies of reformulation: the passage from a text-source to a text of didactic disclosure. Literature and Linguistics Magazine, vol. 16, p. 191-210. Taken from conicyt.cl.
Bonafé, JM (2008). Textbooks as discursive practice. Journal of Sociology of Education-RASE, vol. 1, No. 1, p. 62-73. Taken from dialnet.unirioja.es.
Outline of a didactic text (2015). Vice President for Teaching Quality and Innovation IUED. Taken from e-spacio.uned.es.

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