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Online Professional Learning and
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21st Century Community Learning Centers

“Texts” Come in All Shapes and Sizes

A “text” can be defined as a novel or simply a newspaper article. It is important to distinguish between various types of texts because each has its own intended purpose: Some set out to entertain, some to instruct, some to inspire, others to inform. So whether you are the reader or the author, that collection of words strung together on the page has a job to do. Generally speaking, texts fall into two major categories:

  • Literature: There are various ways to define the term literature, but for our purposes the definition will include any reading and writing which is intended to entertain through story telling, drama or poetry. Stories include mysteries, science fiction, adventures, folktales, fables and many other styles. Dramas typically represent staged dialogue, in the form of scenes, plays or movie scripts. Poetry comes in many shapes and sizes, from limericks to sonnets, to free verse and epics, among others. 
  • Informational Text: Informational texts, as the name implies, are intended to inform the reader. Examples include literary nonfiction and historical texts, as well as scientific and technical texts. Biographies and autobiographies are also examples of informational texts. Technical texts include directions, forms or information one might find in a graph, chart or map. Informational texts can express an argument or opinion, or discuss a wide variety of topics through a personal essay reflecting the author’s point of view. 

You can explore various text genres, text types and structures in the tools section.

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