Types of Text – Classification, characteristics and examples

We explain what the types of text are according to their purpose, their area of ​​interest or their physical support and their particular characteristics.

text types
There are very different types of texts, both physical and digital.

What are the types of text?

When we speak of a text we refer to any unit of meaning composed of sentences written and integrated into paragraphs, in which one or more specific topics are addressed. Any written message is a text, and therefore it is possible to distinguish between many textual typologies, that is, between many different types of text, depending on the criteria applied.

Thus, we can classify the different possible texts according to their purpose, that is, to what purpose their reading pursues; or according to your area of ​​interest, that is, what topics are addressed in it; or according to their physical support, that is, to what medium they use to transmit. These classifications are:

  • According to your textual purpose or strategy, we can differentiate between expository, argumentative, narrative and descriptive texts.
  • According to your area of ​​interest, we can differentiate between literary, journalistic, advertising, legal, administrative or academic texts.
  • According to its physical support, we can distinguish between handwritten texts, printed texts and digital texts.

Texts according to their purpose

Below we will explain each of the types of text according to its purpose:

  • Expository texts. They are those whose purpose is the objective offer of ideas to the reader, that is, to instruct regarding a certain subject of whatever nature, as long as personal positions are not taken on the matter, but rather that a merely informative interest is preserved. . For example: a school textbook or an encyclopedia.
  • Argumentative texts. They are those whose purpose is to convince the reader to assume a certain point of view on the matter, or to invite him to assume an attitude or a series of actions, and it is done through arguments of different kinds, that is, offering reasons , motives and persuading him through different strategies. For example: a political pamphlet or an opinion piece.
  • Narrative texts. They are those whose purpose is to tell some kind of story or story, be it real or fictitious, using different narrative strategies and mechanisms. These types of texts are recognized because they always have the figure of a narrator. For example: a novel, a journalistic chronicle.
  • Descriptive texts. They are those whose purpose is to detail some reality or some specific object, detailing its components, or detailing the specific steps that one must take to fulfill a task. For example: a gastronomic recipe, the instructions for putting together a piece of furniture.

Texts according to your area of ​​interest

Below we will explain each of the types of text according to its area of ​​interest:

  • Literary texts. Those that are read with the purpose of entertaining, or to provide the reader with an aesthetic experience, and that have been composed by an author using his imagination and stylistic or rhetorical resources, such as metaphors, similes, etc. For example: poems, novels, children’s literature.
  • Journalistic texts. Those who are part of the media and who have the task of informing their readers in a more expository way (in the case of reports) or more argumentative (in the case of opinion articles). These texts are handled on a fine line between the literary and the documentary or scientific, since they always address reality, not fiction. For example: newspaper articles, press releases, newspaper reports.
  • Advertising texts. Those who try to convince the reader to buy a certain product, extolling its virtues or the supposed need to buy it, or simply trying to make the consumer find out about the existence of the product. For example: commercials and even advertising spots on television.
  • Legal texts. Those that are part of the language of judicial institutions and courts, decisions and documents of the act of imparting justice. They are usually written in a very technical language, full of Latinisms and neologisms typical of the area. For example: court verdicts, penal codes or the National Constitution.
  • Administrative texts. Those that are typical of the formal language of organizations: companies, the State itself and its institutions of public power, or any other form of human organization that requires its own paperwork. For example: founding acts, memoranda or administrative reports.
  • Academic texts. Those who come from the university world and specialized knowledge, whether scientific or humanistic. They are usually written in a more or less specialized language, since they are made by and for experts in the respective subject covered. For example: scientific articles, doctoral theses and other similar monographs.

Texts according to their physical support

Below we will explain each of the types of text according to its physical support:

  • Handwritten texts. Those that have been written “by hand”, generally on paper or some traditional support, using the graphite of a pencil or the ink of a pen or marker. For example: a note left on the refrigerator.
  • Printed texts. Those that are the result of a printing press or some other mechanized system of text production. For example: any book, magazine, or monograph printed on a computer.
  • Digital texts. Those that are typical of the virtual world, that is, that exist on the Internet or in other types of software, without having a tangible physical support, beyond some screen. For example: e-books and web pages.