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What Is Text Structure: Definition, Types, Teaching Methods

The National literacy trust has found that 1 in every 3 children between the age of 8 and 18 enjoy writing in their free time. The struggle to form sentences and present clarity in word structure is one of the biggest challenges in writing.

Since connectivity and organization are the building blocks of good writing, it’s very important to understand the structure of text and its purpose in the entire context.

We have shared everything you need to know, such as what is text structure, what its types are, and what the best teaching methods are.

Text Structure Definition

What is Text Structure? It refers to the organization of information and ideas in content. It shows how the text makes sense and presents the information as the author desires. It clarifies what the text is intended to mean.

A good structured text is easy to understand and interpret. It has all the elements needed to comprehend the real purpose of the information in the text.

Why Is Text Structure Important in Writing?

  1. The structure of text is very important to be taught in school because it makes students skilled readers and aids in writing assignments and reports.
  2. Different text structure examples help them interpret the information.
  3. It helps them develop their literacy skills and improves their writing practices for regular assignments.
  4. It will help them understand the true meaning of what the author was trying today and in what context a certain point was made.
  5. It’s important to understand what is text structure because without it, the content will be ambiguous, unclear, and unorganized.

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Research Conducted by National Literacy Trust supports the importance of proper text structure guidance among youngsters:

“Levels of writing enjoyment have reduced by 12.2 percentage points over the past 13 years, which means that, over that time, there has been a 26% decrease in the number of children and young people aged 8 to 18 who say they enjoy writing in their free time.”

What is the Students’ Writing Proficiency Level?

The national report card has found significant differences between the language proficiency levels of private and public students and the different educational levels.

Public School 

Private School 

Grades 4 to 12th 

70% to 85%

90% to 94%

Common Mistakes Students Make in Structuring Text

Now that you have an idea of what is text structure, let’s talk about some of the most common mistakes students make when structuring the text.

Disconnecting Sentences

One of the biggest challenges is the failure to connect the sentences. Many students fail to understand that each sentence impacts the one following it. Problems with bad structuring leads to ambiguous content and unclear information while the reader won’t be able to interpret what is text structure of the context.

Disorganized Paragraphs

Even the text structure definition says that it’s about the organization of ideas. Still, one of the biggest mistakes students make is just throwing a bunch of paragraphs of information into the content without organizing it.

Body paragraphs contain sources of information that support the information used to back the main arguments. That is why keeping them organized is way too important, as it will help you in all kinds of citations later on. Whether it is MLA, APA, Harvard, or some technical ama text citation in your writeup.

Every paragraph must be connected to the one before it and next to it. Unconnected paragraphs will confuse the readers about the nature and time of the events described in them.

Unclear Transitions

There is a set of transition words or phrases that help connect two paragraphs or two sentences. When students fail to give a transition to their information in the essay, such practice leaves the readers confused about what is text structure of the context is. Without proper transition, the content will look pushy and out of context.

5 Types of Text Structure

Following are some of the common types of text structure based on what information they provide.

Descriptive

This type of structure describes the features or details of the author’s message. It introduces the reader to the object or situation by describing its appearance, geography, size, height, or other details.

Such text structure utilizes persuasive writing tips and influences people’s thoughts. It helps students picture that object or situation in their minds and understand what is text structure and its context.

Text Structure Examples For Description:

The blond girl in a red dress was walking through the rain.

The author described the person in the context so you can imagine a girl with blond hair and a red dress walking through the rain.

The chocolate cake was decorated with walnuts and almonds.

The author describes the decoration and flavor of the cake so that the reader has a picture in mind while reading.

Sequence

This type of text structure tells readers about the chronological order of events in the context, like stages of writing process or stages of fermentation. Describing sequences in writing helps inform readers about an event or situation’s stages, steps, or processes. Historical papers are the best text structure examples for identifying chronological order and sequence.

Example

The Djoser step pyramid of Saqqara is the earliest pyramid built in Egypt, dating back to 2700 BC. Later, other cities started to build pyramids as well.

This statement shows the sequence of pyramid construction and the order in which they were built. It will help students understand the history of Egyptian pyramids better and what is text structure to describe their timeline better.

Cause and Effect

This text structure clarifies the causes and effects of a certain situation or event. This is used in plenty of research papers everyday. It helps students understand how a cause impacts different variables. Such text structure is common in dissertation writing projects.

For instance

Due to the increase in fossil fuel burning, global warming has become alarming.

In this statement, the author clarifies the cause and the effects it produces. The clear structure did not confuse students when determining what causes global warming. This approach helps students understand what is text structure for speaking about issues and their impacts.

Problem And Solution

In this type, the author introduces a problem to the readers and then proposes a solution. This structure helps students interpret the problem and find its solution better. It is one of the most popular types of essay structure assigned to students of all educational levels.

For Example

When the black death prevailed in 1348, doctors started practicing potions, bloodletting, augmentations, and pastes.

In this statement, the author described the problems of the black death plague spread and then proposed a solution by the doctors. Such sentences help students detect problems and determine how they are handled. It also helps them detect what is text structure of such situations and enables them to use it later in their assignments.

Compare and Contrast

This text structure compares the similarities and differences between events, situations, subjects, or literature. It will help students look at the different aspects and angles and compare the information.

For Example:

Mexico is also home to some spectacular pyramids. However, compared to the pyramids of Giza, the pyramids of the Mayan dynasty were smaller and steeper.

In this statement, the author compares the pyramids of Giza with the pyramids of the Mayan dynasty in Mexico. This comparison will help students understand the similarities and differences between these archaeological sites and what is text structure of writing such information.

9 Fun Methods To Teach Text Structure To Students

Now that we understand different text structures, let’s discuss how teachers can make text-structuring lessons fun and interesting. Firstly, they primarily focus on writing mechanics and conventions, then furthermore, there are 5 more methods to use.

Practice Prediction

One of the best ways to teach students how to recognize a text structure is to have them predict the next transition words or structured phrases. Make it a pre-reading habit to have students predict the text structure. 

Once they are done guessing, give them the content to read and check whether their predictions are true. Such practice will allow students to test their knowledge while teachers evaluate their understanding and skills.

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How To Make It Work

  1. Give students a title such as “World War I’’.
  2. Have them predict what text structure they can expect from the content.
  3. Provide them with reading material that discusses WWI and ask them to detect the structure.
  4. Encourage students through little prizes or appreciation when their predictions are correct.

Use Graphics To Organize

Provide students with graphics charts, images, and tables relatable to their reading material. Graphics are very important in strengthening sentence structure in students’ minds. It will make it easy for them to detect and organize them to comprehend them better.

Let’s See How It’s Done

Give them a chart or a table to organize the information they extracted from the reading material. Tables may differ based on what text structure it is written in, such as problem-solving or causes and effect tables. For example, a table like this: 

Add Colors Into Learning

Get your students to use highlighters and colors to mark different text structures and what is text structure placement. This will be a great visual guide for students to mark and identify the structure of text whenever they read.

Differentiating structures of text through different color highlighters or pencils helps students to detect and understand their position in the context even better.

How To Make This Work?

  1. Make a color code for every kind of text structure. For example, red is for sequence, blue is for description, green is for cause and effect, orange is for problem and solution, and purple is for compare and contrast.
  2. Provide students with study material and ask them to use assigned colors to mark the related structure of text.
  3. Ask the student to extract the general idea and what is text structure of the entire reading material based on which color was used the most.

Develop A Comprehensive Storyboard

This very fun practice will entertain students of all types of coursework and help them discover things. It is most functional for narrative and literature review materials. It allows students to break down the scenes and events in the context and organize them in a storyboard. This will be very helpful in strengthening students’ grip on the sentence structure.

How to Make It Work

  1. For example, you gave them Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Provide students with reading material and also a storyboard.
  2. Ask them to describe the play scene by scene by filling out the storyboard. They would be able to do it after determining what is text structure in the dialogues and scenes.
  3. Let the students present their interpretations of the scenes and explain how they understand the sentence structure. 

Organize A Text Structure Hunt

Get your students to hunt for different topics and reading materials through newspapers, fiction and non-fiction books, magazines, blogs, or any online research resource. Ask them to find different scenarios and text structure examples to identify what structure an author uses to display their information.

How Do We Make This Work

  1. Assign them the task of hunting for information through different resources.
  2. Once they are done identifying and marking the structure, ask them to share their work with the class and present their ideas.
  3. This activity is going to be very engaging and encouraging for students to expand their learning of what is text structure, and build good relationship between students and professors in class.

Resources To Improve and Practice Text Structure

No.SourceWhat Do you Get From It
1BooksFiction or Non-fiction books, interesting and engaging ideas.
2MagazinesA number of interviews, blogs, and writing on diverse topics. 
3NewspapersInformational columns, expert reviews, investigations, and
4ArticlesDetailed research papers and reports on serious issues
5WebsitesBlogs, web content, online articles, current affairs, and news. 

Professional Help In Text Structure

It’s quite common for students to face issues in understanding and practicing what is text structure. If you are unsure how to start and practice, you can get in touch with a professional yet cheap academic writer to get the best advice.

Final Thought

It’s better to conclude that the idea of what is text structure needs to be taught to students from starting grades. It’s a process that gradually strengthens with practice and different activities. Structures of text have different types, and all have their specific role to play within the context. Teachers should engage students in different activities to foster structuring sentence learning.

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