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Text Structures in Informational Texts

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Basics on the topic Text Structures in Informational Texts

Informational texts are structured in a certain way depending on the type of information being given.

The structures are chronological order, description, compare and contrast, cause and effect, and problem and solution.

To determine text structure, we look for signal words that help organise the writing.

Transcript Text Structures in Informational Texts

Informational Text Structures "Did you know our home isn't the only sunken ship? There was a ship, The Titanic, that sank many years ago!" "Interesting! Let's do some research." Informational texts are structured in a certain way depending on the type of information being given. Some of these structures are: chronological order, description, compare and contrast, cause and effect and problem and solution. To work out which text structure is being used, we can look for signal words that help to organise the writing. Let's take a look at an example of each text structure. Chronological order means events sequenced in time order. Information is organised by dates, and may use signal words such as first, next or other phrases to show the passing of time. On April 10, 1912, The Titanic left England and set out for America. Four days into the cruise, a lookout saw an iceberg and warned of danger. The ship struck it, causing damage. As it sank, people scrambled to escape. At 2:30am on April 15th, The Titanic broke into two parts and slipped into the water. In 1985, the wreckage was found and years later, in 1997, the famous movie, Titanic, was made. In this text, we see dates and phrases like 'four days' and 'years later'. This next article is written as a description where the author wants to create an image in your mind. We can identify this structure by looking for examples, features and signal words like, 'such as' and 'for instance'. The Titanic was built to be the world's largest, most luxurious cruise liner. The ship was just over eight hundred and eighty-two feet in length and one hundred and four feet tall. The Titanic had ten decks and carried about two thousand, two hundred and twenty-four passengers and crew members. Here, it describes the size of the ship and uses words like, largest and most luxurious. These words help build an image of what The Titanic looked like. In a compare AND contrast structure, the author illustrates similarities and/or differences of a topic. We look for signal words such as same, alike, on the other hand, or instead. The Titanic carried passengers from all walks of life. They were divided up depending on the price of their ticket. The first-class passengers were wealthy businessmen and politicians. On the other hand, the third-class passengers were made up of poor immigrants looking for a better life. Do you see a signal word? The phrase 'on the other hand' contrasts the differences between passengers. Cause and effect is used when the author wants to show how one event leads to another. Signal words may include, since, as a result, and due to. The Titanic hit an iceberg late at night causing major damage. This damage resulted in the ship’s flooding and sinking to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Due to the lack of lifeboats and the confusion of the event, only seven hundred and ten people survived! Which signal words do you see here? Causing, resulted, due to. An author can also convey problems related to a topic, and possible solutions created. Signal words for this structure may include issue, question, or solve. The Titanic carried about two thousand, two hundred passengers. As it sank, the biggest issue became clear. The Titanic did not have enough lifeboats to take all the passengers. Another problem was, during all of the chaos of the night, many of the lifeboats left before completely filled. The solution to making sure something like this does not happen again, is now all ships are required to have enough lifeboats for all people aboard. What signal words do you see here? Issue. Problem, solution. While Otis and Pearl explore their ship, let's review. Remember, informational text structures include chronological order, description, compare and contrast, cause and effect and problem and solution. To determine the text structure, look for signal words that are used to organise the writing. "Fascinating! Makes you wonder how our ship got here?"

Text Structures in Informational Texts exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Text Structures in Informational Texts.
  • Recognise types of informational text structures.

    Hints

    Which choices are NOT ways to share or present factual information? These choices are NOT informational text structures.

    There are different types of information texts, they are used to communicate real and factual information to the reader.

    Chronological order means to list events from earliest to latest or first to last.

    There are 5 correct choices.

    Solution

    INFORMATIONAL TEXT STRUCTURES

    • Chronological Order
    • Compare and Contrast
    • Description
    • Cause and Effect
    • Problem and Solution
    NOT INFORMATIONAL TEXT STRUCTURES
    • Poetry and Fiction
    • Cartoons and Jokes

  • Match the types to their definitions.

    Hints

    Compare means to look at how 2 or more things are the same. Contrast means looking at how 2 or more things are different.

    We use descriptions to help people visualise things they cannot see, touch, taste, feel, or hear.

    Cause and effect is when one action influences or changes what comes afterwards.

    Solution

    INFORMATIONAL TEXT STRUCTURES

    • Chronological order is when the author organises information by dates or times.
    • Description is when the author wants to create an image in your mind.
    • Compare and contrast is when the author looks at the similarities and differences of a topic.
    • Cause and effect is when the author shows how one event leads to another event.
    • Problem and solution is when the author defines problems related to a topic, then offers possible solutions for them.

  • Identify signal words in chronological order informational texts.

    Hints

    In a chronological order text the author organises information by dates or time. Which words do you see that show the passing of time?

    There are 4 signal words in this chronological order text and 3 words that are not signal words.

    Solution

    These words are SIGNAL WORDS in the chronological order text because they show the passing of time.

    • First
    • Next
    • After
    • Finally

    These words are NOT SIGNAL WORDS in this chronological order text.

    • Clothes
    • Go
    • About

  • Types of Texts.

    Hints

    Chronological order texts use signal words to show the order of things happening, like first, second or last.

    Descriptive texts use adjectives to describe, these may describe size, colour or something else.

    There are two signal words to be assigned to each type of text.

    Solution

    Descriptive Text

    • luxurious and largest
    Cause and Effect Text
    • due to and resulting in
    Chronological Order Text
    • first and next.

  • Find the informational text structure using the key words.

    Hints

    One of the choices is not an informational text structure. Eliminate this option first.

    Look carefully at the words on the poster; are these words more likely to be found in a description text, choronological order text or problem and solution text?

    There is only 1 correct choice.

    Solution

    A Problem and Solution informational text structure will use some or all of the keywords: issue, solve, question, problem and solution.

  • Identify the type of text and signal words.

    Hints

    In this text, the author wants to create an image in your mind of what the drone looks like and how it moves and functions.

    First, decide what kind of text this is. Then choose keywords that support this type of text.

    Which words or phrases in this text help to create an image in your mind of the item?

    Solution

    This text is a description text.

    We know this because of the signal words: compact-sized, centrally positioned, sleek silver, modern design, and four evenly placed, which gives us an image of what the drone looks like.