Types of text: literary, informative, argumentative, explanatory…

A text it is a set of statements that transmit an ordered and coherent message, the length of which may vary. There are different types of texts according to its structure and communicative function: literary texts, scientific texts, explanatory texts, persuasive texts, argumentative texts.

Texts are made up of a set of signs that make up a language and that transmit a message whose meaning is acquired according to the context in which it is produced and received.

Literary texts

Literary texts have an aesthetic purpose, not a practical one; and for this, the author uses expressive resources such as rhetorical and literary figures. To capture the reader’s attention, the author has total freedom: each writer imprints his own style on his work. The content of these texts may or may not be based on a real event. For example: story, novel

  • Narrative texts. They relate a succession of actions that occur in a specific place and time. Its purpose can be communicative or literary. In addition, they can be oral or written and can take on the most varied forms. These texts have dynamic verbs, adverbs and spatial connectors (“first”, “second”, “then”, “after”). For example: intimate diaries, jokes, novels, short stories, short stories, anecdotes, biographies, reports, news.
  • lyrical texts. They can be written in verse or prose. They seek the expression of beauty through words, appealing to emotions, expressions and feelings. For example: poetry, odes
  • dramatic texts. They are texts designed to be performed on a theatrical stage, in front of an audience. For example: tragedy, comedy, tragicomedy.

Informative texts

Informative texts provide descriptions and data of reality to convey information or knowledge. Its content is concrete, real and objective. They lack subjectivism, arguments, points of view and judgments of the author.
These texts use informative or technical language, according to the public they are addressed to. Its ultimate goal is to facilitate the receiver’s understanding. They may be:

  • journalistic texts. Its function is to inform, analyze or comment on current issues that are relevant to citizens. They are published in the media (news portals, newspapers or magazines) and deal with the most varied topics: international, sports, economy, politics, finance, education, science, health, sports, culture, among others. For example: news, chronicles, editorials.
  • Scientific texts. They are written by scientists and addressed to a particular scientific community to expose the results of a set of investigations. They are written in technical language and offer data and scientific information, respecting a series of academic standards in terms of exposition, presentation and reference. They are objective and expository texts. In addition, they must be clear, universal and verifiable. Their extension can vary and, in many cases, they have a main author and several collaborators. For example: popular science articles, monographs.

Appellate texts

Appellate texts seek to persuade the receiver to carry out a certain action. The author can use argumentative resources, such as giving direct orders (by means of the imperative mood or infinitives), suggestions or data that support the order. They may be:

  • Instructive texts. They offer indications to carry out a certain action so, on many occasions, they are accompanied by an illustration, which facilitates their understanding. These texts are intended to be followed to the letter and should avoid creating confusion: they are precise and objective. For example: cooking recipes, instructions for the use of an electrical appliance, instructions for the use of a drug.
  • advertising texts. Its main objective is to convince the recipient to consume a product or service or change certain behavior. For example: There are things that money can not buy, for everything else, there is MasterCard. These texts are resources used by marketing to provide data and information about a product or service as well as encourage the recipient to buy it. To capture the attention of the public, they are usually accompanied by music, sound or image. For example: graphic, audiovisual, digital advertising.
  • persuasive texts. They aim to induce the receiver to behave in a certain way or modify some conception or opinion. They can be concise or extensive. Its effects, in many cases, can be measured. For example, the effectiveness of a propaganda message can be measured based on the number of votes received by the candidate in question. For example: political campaigns, speeches.

Descriptive texts

Descriptive texts seek to characterize facts, situations, objects, animals or people. They can emphasize different edges of an element. They can also be limited to giving details about the physical or psychological aspect of a person or combine both.

expository texts

Expository (or explanatory) texts aim to disseminate information about concepts and facts understandable to the recipient. To do this, they use resources such as comparison, reformulation, exemplification or description. They are formal texts written in the third person, which do not contain opinions or subjective statements. Depending on the audience to which they are directed, they can use technical language.

They objectively and deeply delve into a specific topic to inform or publicize a series of concepts, data or specific facts. They provide and transmit clear and direct knowledge and are developed in various fields, such as scientific, educational, legal, social or journalistic. For example: encyclopedic texts, definitions, educational manuals, theses, monographs, laws, decrees.

argumentative texts

Argumentative texts are those texts that aspire for their recipient to acquire a certain position on a certain topic. To persuade his reader, the author uses rhetorical, narrative and expository resources. Some elements of these texts are textual citations, illustrations and examples, stories, textual references to an authority on the subject and abstractions, among others. For example: reader’s letter, editorial, essay, criticism.

Examples of each type of text

Examples of literary texts


  1. The Alephby Jorge Luis Borges.
  2. Taken houseby Julio Cortazar.


  1. 100 years of Solitudeby Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
  2. The Unbearable Lightness of Beingby Milan Kundera.
  3. The navel of the limbsby Antonin Artaud.
  4. One hundred love sonnetsby Pablo Neruda.


  1. Legend of the bad light.
  2. The legend of the Headless Horseman.

Theater plays

  1. Trees die standing upby Alejandro Casona.
  2. The dream of a nigth of summerby William Shakespeare.

Examples of informative texts

Scientific texts

  1. Nanotechnology: The revolution of new materials (presentations and conferences)
  2. Molecular basis of flowering (article)
  3. Malvinas, a chronology of five centuries (monograph)
  4. Neurons of God, by Diego Golombek (informative text)

journalistic texts

  1. Volkswagen signs a millionaire agreement for having collaborated with the dictatorship in Brazil, El País (news)
  2. Government responds to Santos and denies aid to Trump’s re-election campaign, El Espectador (news)
  3. Brave New World: Direct Selling, Leila Guerriero (chronicle)
  4. Havana, the detained city, Martín Caparrós (chronicle)
  1. TikTok, Trump and China: an unresolved chaos, El Espectador (editorial)
  2. 75 years of the United Nations, La Nación (editorial)

Examples of expository or explanatory texts

  1. Concept of Mitosis (encyclopedic text)
  2. Charles Darwin (biographical note)
  3. Geostrategic value of the Malvinas Islands in the definition of power at the beginning of the 21st century (thesis)
  4. Law 24,156 – Financial administration and control systems of the national public sector
  5. Decree DNU 522 / 2020
  6. Cellulose (definition of a concept in a dictionary)
  7. The bourgeois revolutions of the eighteenth century (the content of a history manual)
  8. The technologies that have transformed our society (scientific article)

Appellate texts

Instructive texts

  1. chocolate cake recipe
  2. How to use the voice recorder
  3. ibuprofen package insert

persuasive texts

  1. Hope. Obama’s presidential campaign that seeks to convey hope. In addition, the image resembles the poster of Che Guevara, who, like Obama, received the support of young people during his campaign.
  2. Recycling is everyone’s business. Recycling campaign of the Association of Municipalities of the Sierra de Cádiz and Ecoembes.
  3. Denialism kills. Campaign that urges Argentine citizens to use chinstraps to avoid spreading the Covid-19 virus

advertising texts


argumentative texts

  1. Legal text. Unboxing of the Bertuzzi bug, Gustavo Arballo.
  2. Rehearsal. essay on global warming, Orlando Ramirez.
  3. Opinion. Ideologies that wrought the ruin of Latin America, Mario Vargas Llosa.

Descriptive texts

  1. Little snowball. This is the name of our kitten, who has already lived with us for five years. He is white, fat and very hairy. Hence its name. He spends practically the whole day sleeping. He barely gets up from his bed to eat, “go to the bathroom” or if he hears a pigeon visiting us on the balcony.
  2. Living in Russia during the Stalin regime meant being afraid all the time. In Moscow, people practically did not communicate with each other and, when they did, it was to make some very superficial comment, as if by obligation (“What a nice day!” “Will it rain?”). For fear that a neighbor would listen, the families got used to speaking very softly: to whisper. Writing in an intimate diary was, for many, the only activity that allowed them to capture what they really thought. Any comment, even the most banal, could be used as sufficient evidence to be denounced, go to jail, end up in a forced labor camp or, perhaps, on the firing squad.
  3. I never knew his name, nor did I ever hear his voice. She always wore a brown beret, jean pants and a worn sweater, except in the summer when she wore plaid shirts. Assisted by his cane, he would pull his chair up to the sidewalk and sit there for hours watching people go by. His skin was practically papyrus, his thick-rimmed glasses slid down his nose, and his glassy-blue eyes kept moving back and forth.

Text properties

  • Meaning. Every text conveys an idea or concept that is retrieved by its receiver.
  • Context. The text is always framed in a time, place and circumstance in which the act of communication is generated and that helps the message to be understood in the most appropriate way.
  • intentionality. In every meaningful unit, the emitter has an objective, which will determine its configuration and composition.
  • Coherence. The meaning unit focuses on a specific topic.
  • Use of lexicon. Their vocabulary can be technical, cultured, vulgar or colloquial.
  • Cohesion. Its parts are linked together in an orderly manner.
  • Adequacy. Each meaningful unit must be elaborated with a set of codes that are known by the sender and the receiver, so that the receiver can understand it.