instructional text



We explain what an instructional text is, its function, structure and various examples. Also, other types of texts.

An instructional text indicates a series of steps to follow.

What is an instructional text?

An instructional text is that kind of text -not necessarily written- which is made up of instructions, that is, it gives the receiver in an organized and systematic way the information you need to carry out a certain action or solve a trouble. They are, more simply put, texts that tell how to do something.

These types of texts are very abundant in everyday life, and appear in contexts common or technical. They can be aimed at audiences of all kinds, or at specialized audiences. Very often they are accompanied by texts descriptive They provide the information necessary to understand the subsequent instructions, and are also usually broken down in a schematic way, that is, into numbered steps to follow one by one.

The structure of instructional texts can vary greatly, from a conventional model of expositive text, up to a schematic breakdown in which each entry or item corresponds to a step to be taken by the receiver. However, what is characteristic of the instructional text is not its structure, but its functionality.

Instructional Text Features

The main function of an instructional text is to provide instructions, as its name expresses it. In this sense, they are forms of assistance or help to carry out an action or solve a problem, which establish a series of steps or actions, more or less detailed, that the receiver should follow. So the function of the instructional text is to direct or guide the reader towards the accomplishment of a specific task.

Examples of instructional texts

Examples of instructional texts are the following:

  • The warnings for using a blender: “Always place the glass on the motor and operate by pressing the buttons. Make sure that no limb of the body is inserted into the bowl when the blades are turning. Always use the glass corresponding to the blender model. For inquiries or complaints call 0-800-Blender ”.
  • Instructions for assembling a piece of furniture: “Step 1: insert part a1 into the slot of part b2, using short screws (m9). Then repeat the procedure with part a2, in the adjacent groove. Step 2: place part b1 perpendicular to the assembly, and secure it using long screws (m10) ”.
  • The computer troubleshooter's prompts: “Check that the network cables are securely in place, and that the router is turned on. If the problem persists, restart the computer and check the error status ”.

Other types of texts

In addition to instructional texts, it is common to refer to other textual types, such as:

  • Descriptive texts, in which the detail of the features or characteristics of an object, person or situation predominates.
  • Argumentative texts, in which the recipient is given ideas, allegations or reasons to adopt a certain point of view or be convinced of something.
  • Narrative texts, in which a story or a recount of temporarily organized events is carried out.
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