12 julio, 2024

Types of texts and their characteristics (with examples)

We explain the types of texts that exist and their characteristics, with examples

The types of written texts with which human beings habitually interacted until less than half a century ago were relatively few: books, articles in newspapers and magazines, instructions and recipes, advertising brochures and, depending on one’s trade or profession, documents. legal, scientific texts, etc.

Letters and telegrams if you corresponded with friends or relatives, or for work reasons; poems, fiction texts, etc. With the irruption of the Internet, the emergence of networks and the communication boom, human beings are questioned almost at all times by various kinds of texts.

Currently, any oral or written communication is defined as text, however, many prefer to define oral as speech, and refer to the text when it comes to written material.

There are different classifications and typologies around the text. In this article we will address 15 types, which in some cases overlap or juxtapose (a scientific text can be argumentative and descriptive; a poetic text can be narrative, etc.).

Types of texts

administrative texts

They are the texts and speeches generally used in private companies and government institutions for internal and external communications. Administrative texts are impersonal in nature (in the third person), respond to certain types of protocols and use a language marked by euphemisms or technical words.

Examples of administrative texts are technical reports, memoranda, notices to the public, internal electronic communications (intranet), etc.

Example of administrative text:

“Our kind customers are notified that, for reasons of the coronavirus, our premises will remain open to the public until 06:00 pm. We thank you in advance for your understanding. THE COMPANY.»

argumentative texts

An argumentative text is one whose objective is to reason, justify or explain a thesis or position. It is the dominant discourse in texts on philosophy, politics, economics, etc. And it is also present in debates, conferences and colloquiums.

Examples of argumentative texts are philosophical treatises, literary essays, opinion articles, etc.

Example of argumentative text:

«Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, but what it is about is transforming it» (Karl Marx, Theses on Feuerbach).

Scientific texts

They are texts that provide informative information or for discussion, endorsed by academies and scientific-technical institutions. They are easily recognized by the number of footnotes and by almost always having a supporting bibliography.

These texts generally use an objective, highly specialized language that requires prior knowledge of the subject matter, and they often interact with mathematical language, graphs, and statistical tables.

Scientific texts are present in articles from refereed journals (certified by recognized institutions, such as Nature either The Lancet), informative (such as National Geographic), books and school texts.

Example of scientific text:

In number theory, the prime number theorem is a statement that describes the asymptotic distribution of prime numbers. This theorem gives a general description of how the prime numbers are distributed in the set of natural numbers” (Taken from es.wikipedia.org)

Descriptive texts

They are texts that indicate and break down the qualities, properties or characteristics of an object, person, process or event. For this they use a language in which adjectives and circumstantial complements predominate.

Descriptive texts usually accompany expository, narrative and argumentative texts, among others, but they can also be found independently in scientific descriptions (plant and animal taxonomies), product catalogues, tourist guides, manuals, etc.

Example of descriptive text:

“The African baobab is a tree with a large trunk, bottle-shaped or irregular and full of knots. Its height can range between 5 and 30 m, and the diameter of the crown exceeds 11 m“.

digital texts

These are the texts with which we currently have the most contact, due to their presence on computers and mobile phones. They range from the messages we send on WhatsApp, the memes we read and share, to articles and books in digital format.

Digital texts are those that are produced on web pages, blogs; those that circulate through the different messaging applications (Telegram, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.) and platforms (Facebook, Instagram, etc.).

Example of digital text (exchange via WhatsApp):

«See you tonight?» «Where?» «At the café on the corner, at eight» «Ok.»

Dramaturgical and cinematographic text

They are texts that describe situations and scenes, and the dialogues that take place in them. Dramaturgical texts date back to Ancient Greece and renewed their presence with the rise of cinema and television. Currently dramaturgical texts are also used in education and in psychiatric practice.

Dramaturgical texts include Greek tragedies, plays by Lope de Vega or Cervantes, as well as scripts and scripts for films, television series, and video games.

Example of dramatic text:

Ernesto enters through the door that faces the street and finds Mariela in the middle of the room. They remain silent for a moment. Ernest approaches.

Ernesto: Thought you’ve gone (take his hand).

Mariela: (withdrawing hand) I didn’t want to leave without talking to you first.»

epistolary text

For centuries it was one of the most common texts, since epistolary correspondence was the most widespread and used way to communicate at a distance. Depending on the subject and the participants, the language could be subjective, with the dominant use of the first and second person, to a more impersonal language when it came to official communications.

Although personal letters have now been replaced by various Internet applications, the epistolary language survives to a large extent in emails and on platforms such as Facebook.

Example of epistolary text:

«Dear Juan: I know that it has been a long time since we last exchanged messages, and that this will be the first time that we do it by letter, using the mail, instead of the internet.»

Expositive text

They are texts that provide information about people, objects, events or facts, in principle objectively, unless it is a testimonial, in which subjective language is acceptable.

Expository texts can be informative or specialized. The former include informative articles (scientific and humanistic), news, books on various topics, manuals, etc. Technical or specialized texts are usually academic, such as university guides and treatises and textbooks in general.

Example of expository text:

«During the last thirty years, various investigations into human language have reached several unexpected conclusions: language could be the result of the combination of bird songs with grunts and primate gestures.»

humanistic text

They are those texts with content related to the humanities and social sciences, in which reflection predominates, although they can also be expository and argumentative.

Humanistic texts are works on psychology, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, geography and other social disciplines; fiction texts (novels, short stories, poetry), essays, chronicles and testimonials, among others.

Humanistic text example:

«The sixties of the last century seemed for a moment the beginning of a new era for humanity (The Age of Aquarius?: the discovery of the pill, the expansion of civil rights for men and women heralded a new world . It was not so».

Instructive texts

They are those that describe or list the steps to follow in a process, from the use of a product to the assembly of a piece of furniture or the way to participate in a game, to prepare a meal or to take a medicine.

Cooking recipes, manuals that accompany equipment and tools, medical prescriptions, internet tutorials, sanitary protocols, etc. are instructive texts.

Example of instructional text:

“Steps to make a fried egg: 1) heat a tablespoon of oil or butter in a small skillet; 2) Gently break the shell of the egg and let it spread in the pan; 3) When you see the white white and the yellow and consistent yolk, remove it from the pan with a spatula; 4) Add salt to taste.

Narrative texts

They are texts that tell a series or sequence of events, which occurred in a certain period of time and that may involve real people or fictional characters. Narrative texts are present in novels and short stories, chronicles, testimonials, news and newspaper articles, and also in social science texts (sociology, psychology, history, philosophy, etc.).

Narrative text example:

“Norman went down the path to the pond. From there he could see Sara’s car drive away, kicking up dust, disappearing around the curve. He wondered if he would see her again.

Normative texts

They are texts that establish norms and guidelines to follow in certain places and situations. They have an objective and sometimes specialized language (with legal terminology).

Normative texts are considered documents as old as the Ten Commandments or the Code of Hammurabi, as well as the current constitutions of countries, civil codes, statutes of consortiums and condominiums, contracts and other legal documents.

Example of normative text:

Second article: The co-owners undertake to respect the hours for parties and meetings, as well as the limits established by consensus regarding the emission of noise and the entry and exit of guests and guests.

journalistic texts

They are texts that provide information about events or events of interest, intended to appear in the media and communication, such as newspapers, weeklies or magazines in different formats and supports (paper, audiovisual or digital).

Currently, most of the media are handled in various formats, giving priority to digital. We can see digital news in media such as BBC, El País, New York Times, La Jornada, La Razón, etc.

Example of journalistic text:

“THEY ANNOUNCE A SECOND WAVE OF CORONAVIRUS. The health authorities reported yesterday, in the morning, that cases of contagion with Covid-19 are increasing, so new emergency measures are not ruled out.

poetic texts

Poetic texts are those where the rhythm, style and aesthetic pleasure dominate the content. Naturally they are associated with poetry, but they are also present in songs and narrative fictions (novels and short stories), as well as in essays of a humanistic nature.

Example of poetic text:

“It was a soft air, leisurely…

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