Text classes and their classification criteria

Written texts can be of different kinds , depending on the discursive criteria to which they conform, or the intention with which they have been prepared. However, despite the fact that there are a great variety of classes, they are not exclusive, that is, the same text can contain characteristics of different types.

Text classes

In order to establish a text classification, we must first attend to different criteria.

According to the intent of the issuer

The first of them is according to the intention of the issuer, and within them we find:

  • Informative texts , in which the representative function of language and its purpose of only objectively informing about a fact of reality predominate . Declarative sentences usually appear, 3rd person in verbs and pronouns and indicative mood, denotative lexicon and use of objective data to support the idea expressed in the text with facts.
  • Aesthetic texts , where the poetic function predominates and its purpose is to draw attention to the way it is written. For this reason, the use of a large number of resources and literary figures is very common.
  • Explanatory texts , whose main function of language is the representative or referential function , however, its purpose is not only to inform , but also has a didactic purpose.
  • Persuasive texts , where the appellative function predominates , since they try to convince the reader to think or act in a specific way. The issuer usually makes use of vocatives, rhetorical questions, imperative mood of verbs and periphrases of obligation.
  • Prescriptive texts , also with the predominance of the appellate function , but in this case the information they provide is mandatory for the recipient.
  • Phatic texts , where we find the phatic or contact function , since its purpose is to maintain contact between the sender and the receiver. We find it mostly in colloquial texts.

Considering the discursive variety

The next criterion that must be addressed is the types of texts according to their discursive variety , among which we find:

  • Descriptive texts , which specify the physical or psychological characteristics of a certain reality. Adjectives abound and verbs are scarce , and if they appear, they are usually linking verbs (to be, to be or to seem).
  • Narrative texts , tell the events that happen to some characters in a space-time framework. The use of nouns and verbs predominates , which are usually fundamentally of movement.
  • Dialogue texts , those that present a communicative exchange between two or more people.
  • Expository texts , which transmit information in an orderly manner, from an objective point of view, with the intention of expanding the knowledge of the receiver. Verbs and pronouns are usually used in the 3rd person , indicative mood, absence of evaluations and use of objective data.
  • Argumentative texts , those in which the sender or author of the text tries to convince the receiver of a thesis that he defends through arguments of different types. It is common for characters, verbs and pronouns to appear in the 1st person and the subjunctive mode of the verbs.

Depending on your subject area

Finally, we find the last criterion for classifying the texts, according to their thematic scope. We have six different types of texts:

  • Scientific-technical texts , which transmit knowledge related to the physical, natural and exact sciences . They tend to seek clarity and precision in language, with great use of technical terms and a search for objectivity.
  • Humanistic texts , which transmit knowledge always related to the human sciences, such as the Social Sciences or the Humanities . The purpose of these texts is the cultural transmission of the topics covered, as well as reflection on them. Despite seeking objectivity, they also present features of subjectivity, in which the sender gives his opinion on the subject, sometimes even trying to convince or persuade the receiver.
  • Literary texts , which express a series of facts from a more aesthetic language . The issuer expresses his feelings and emotions before the reality in which he lives. He can take two different forms, prose , being the form of literary expression that is most similar to everyday language, or verse , characterized by musical rhythm.
  • Advertising texts , whose main objective is to publicize a certain product , in addition to generating consumption in the viewer or receiver.
  • Legal-administrative texts , which usually refer to the rules of action, laws, decrees , etc. They are those employed by public administrations to communicate among themselves or with citizens.
  • Journalistic texts , whose primary purpose is the dissemination of information of public interest, although they also admit critical assessments or opinions on the facts dealt with. The classification of journalistic texts is very diverse depending on the position adopted by the authors before the subject matter. We find informative genres, such as news, opinion genres, such as opinion articles, and mixed genres, such as chronicles or criticism.
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