Text types: what they are, what they are and their main features


What are text types?

Literature has been organized, among other categories, into text types. In this case we refer to everything related to the most important division, written literature, which gathers a set of works that are mainly characterized by being recorded and provide, in this sense, content, information or message that is not modified.

Thus, text types are written documents that facilitate the recording of information, since they are already recorded. Since this definition is very broad, the interpretation of texts should be guided by a classification that allows identifying the purpose of the text, characteristics of its structure and the means through which it is presented.

However, it is important to consider that each of these text types can take elements from other classifications for their construction, and in this way, achieve their own purposes.

What are the text types?

Let us now see which are the modalities within which it is possible to group texts and which, in turn, give rise to other groups within them in which we can identify them according to the purposes of the field, format, among other aspects. It is important to consider that the organization or classification may vary, since we are talking about a complex and broad artistic field in which many of its structures are still being debated.

Considering the above, let’s look at this classification of written literature in terms of text types, these are:

Literary text

Literary texts bring together a set of texts that are generated for aesthetic or properly artistic purposes. We often refer to them as literary works and they are fundamental references in the world of literature. This type of texts are characterized by including a metaphorical or connotative language, human expressions, allegories of realities, among others.

One of the most important particularities of literary texts has to do with resources, among them rhetorical figures or literary figures that include paradoxes, hyperboles, metaphors, similes, among others.

Non-literary text

On the other hand, we have non-literary texts. They are all those texts that do not have aesthetics or artistic expression as their purpose, but are made with the aim of communicating or providing concrete and specific information in relation to a particular topic, either to expose a set of ideas, provide data of a situation, etc.

This type of text is characterized by using a clear, direct language that lacks literary figures that broaden the interpretation, since it is oriented to the transmission of information for a reading or comprehension aimed at a single plane.

Digital text

We have this last category, but not less important. This is digital texts, a field that although it has appeared until very recently, gathers a large number of texts that currently do not escape the ways in which we communicate daily.

These are texts that are present in the web medium and that may or may not have literary purposes. Although these texts are not limited only to offer information directly in an original way, they are characterized by their origin from the two previous types of texts. However, they also have their own aspects such as indexing functions in search engines, programming languages, among others. Here we can also find several categories.

What are text types

Main characteristics of text types

Although there are definitive categories for the types of text found in this field, it is also possible to identify a series of aspects that they share and that allow us to distinguish this type of format from others within the types of literature. Thus, the characteristics are:

Defined structure

Regardless of the category in which they fall, literary, non-literary and digital texts have a defined structure through which they are presented in the medium or format of their division. This structure allows, at the same time, the identification and adaptation to the medium in which they are found. Each type of text has an established structure that it shares with other texts in the same category and may include aspects of another.

Importance of coherence

Although the issue of coherence is a debatable topic, especially when we talk about literary texts in which a percentage of subjectivity is housed, it turns out to be one of the most widespread features in this type of literature. In this case, coherence refers to the fact that the text should focus on a single theme and each of the ideas found in it should help to create the general idea of the text.

Appropriateness with respect to the addressee

Following the route of the text structure, each text is adapted and organized according to a particular addressee. In this way, it has a defined use of language that allows it to reach precisely that target readership in any of its modalities. However, it is necessary to take into account that this aspect may vary in terms of a broadening of that audience or a partial reduction.

Relationship between texts

Another important characteristic that we must consider has to do with the possibility that these texts have of entering into communication or relationship with other texts and even with other genres. This construction and combination is in many cases necessary to facilitate interpretation, reading and comprehension, given that it considers frames of reference, types and other aspects that serve as a reference network to reach the meanings.

To learn more about other aspects of literature, remember that in our section dedicated to this type of art we tell you everything you need to know about this artistic field. Also with other sections that you can explore to continue learning.