Text: Definition, Examples, Types

Define and Discuss the Literary Term, "Text"


Text Definition

The word text comes from the Latin term texere, meaning to weave’. Many critics regard text as a linguistic structure woven out of words or signs. Therefore a text is a human product whose form is achieved by its author’s design and its meanings by the author’s intentional uses of the verbal medium. Therefore, a text contains meaning which is open to interpretation.

The term was first used to denote parts of the Bible studied by scholars, or the body of a literary work which was subject to the scrutiny of editors and bibliographers. Nowadays, readers and critics alike use it to signify any piece of written or spoken discourse, especially when they want to avoid giving value judgments such as literary or categorising something.


Types of Text


Descriptive Text

Based on perception in space. It creates a vivid picture of place, characters, events and things which are often to be found in narratives such as novels and short stories.


Narrative Text

Based on perception in time. It narrates succession of events in chronological order. For instance, fairy stories, mysteries, science fiction, romances, horror stories, adventure stories, fables, myths and legends, historical narratives, ballads, slice of life, personal experience are this type.

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Expository Text

It aims at explanation, i.e. the cognitive analysis and subsequent syntheses of complex facts. Example: Essay.

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