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Didactic text characteristics types in detail

Didactic text

The didactic text is the text aimed at teaching. Didactics is a pedagogical-scientific discipline that studies the elements present in the teaching-learning processes. The purpose of the didactic text will be, thus, the teaching of a subject through an educational orientation. For this, it will use pedagogical guidelines accepted by the educational communities to which the author belongs, so that the final objective is duly fulfilled. Didactic text characteristics types 

In a clear, direct and concise way, it transmits information to the reader, and it will vary according to the recipient: if to primary, high school or university students.

Didactic texts are school books of all levels, monographs, scientific and expository texts, encyclopedias and even children’s fables, since the objective is to educate, impart knowledge to the recipient, so that he increases his culture and knowledge, in an organized way and progressive.

Characteristics of the didactic texts

Although it could be said that literature in its beginnings had a didactic intention, little by little this discipline appropriated other discursive strategies to transmit information, adopting the essay or treatise form, where a subject is exhaustively exposed and analyzed.

However, nowadays a didactic text is considered a support so that the teacher can teach the classes, having quite particular characteristics.

1-Presentation, design and organization

In a didactic text, the elements of the contents are organized in such a way that they induce the cognitive disposition of the reader. In other words, the organization is made in such a way that learning is easy.

2-Graduality of the information

The information is arranged in an order of relevance, from the simplest and easiest to the most complicated to understand. As the reading progresses, the user will be able to understand increasingly complex concepts. Didactic text characteristics types 

3-Elements of interaction and interpretation

The didactic text is characterized, among other things, because it provides abundant examples and activities that the reader can and should carry out to verify the didactic purpose. These activities should ideally stimulate the application of what has been learned through exercises.

4-Appropriate language

Depending on the level, the language used in this type of text is simple and clear. The appellative function is fundamental, so a large majority will address the reader (“you”, “you”, “you”) or will adopt impersonal forms, with verbs in 3rd person and the particle se .

In any case, the language will be appropriate to the type of reader and their level of competence, always considering that whoever reads may have a very poor base on certain topics.

5-Cognitive and psycholinguistic psychology

Since didactics and teaching are the main purposes of these texts, it is necessary to apply concepts and strategies related to cognitive psychology, which refer to the ways in which information must be structured so that it is easily understood.

Psycholinguistics, on the other hand, helps the formulation of language and the understanding of the linguistic, cognitive and psychological processes that are carried out in the brain of each reader when appropriating knowledge.

In this way, whoever prepares the didactic texts will take these elements into account.

Structure of the didactic texts

Although, as stated at the beginning, monographs and scientific and expository texts come as examples of didactic text, the structure of this text may differ to some degree when taking into account school textbooks.

In them, the structure is quite precise and as far as possible it must be complied with. It is made up of five large blocks. Didactic text characteristics types 

1-Preface, presentation

Here the purpose of the particular work is established and explained: to whom it is addressed, the teaching objectives, the organization of the text (in terms of topics and content), the general structure of the topics, and also includes a guide to use the text.

2-Thematic structure

In this part the topics and content to be discussed are exposed, as well as a brief introduction to each topic.

Next, the actual development of each particular topic would come, and a section of recommended reading to expand the information.

There would be another section of activities and exercises, and another for self-evaluation, both with the aim that readers learn and apply the knowledge acquired throughout the text. It usually ends with a summary, with the most significant points of the subject.

3-Glossary

All didactic text must include the specific terminology that it uses, as well as the introduction of new terms. This makes it easier to understand the concepts.

4-Bibliography

The sources from which the information was taken to write the text are indicated.

5-Solutionary

It is a section where the correct answers to all the exercises and questions that were posed in the development of the contents are grouped. It is especially important in science books, such as math, physics, chemistry, biology, etc. Didactic text characteristics types 

Types of didactic text

1-Encyclopedias

Encyclopedias are reference works that summarize knowledge. There are scientific, literary, general encyclopedias, etc., where information is gathered alphabetically or thematically.

Its intention is objective and it aims to gather as much information as possible in a short and orderly way.

2-Textbooks

They are books whose content is specific to the subjects taught in schools and universities. They are usually designed according to school levels, include illustrations, drawings, diagrams and vignettes of all kinds to facilitate understanding of concepts.

3-Fables

They are short literary compositions, in prose or verse , where the characters are usually animals or inanimate objects. They all speak and behave like humans, and their purpose is to teach correct ethical behaviors.

They always end with a moral or lesson on the topic at hand. The best known are those of the Greek Aesop.

Examples of didactic texts

Example 1: encyclopedic didactic text

“Psycholinguistics: branch of psychology that studies the way in which the human species acquires the ability of language, as well as the cognitive mechanisms necessary for the processing of linguistic information.”

Example 2: Fable of the hare and the tortoise (fable)

“Once upon a time there was a vain hare who boasted of his speed. The tortoise, annoyed, challenged her to a race, which the hare, arrogant, accepted. All the animals gathered to watch the race.

At the bear’s signal, the tortoise and the hare came out, and the hare, proud and contemptuous, immediately passed her by, while telling her that she was a fool to think she could beat him. Confident, the hare decided to rest under a tree. The cool breeze lulled her, and she fell asleep.

Meanwhile, the tireless turtle walked and walked without stopping. He came across the sleeping hare, and kept on, until he approached the goal. All the animals began to scream excitedly and woke up the hare, who was so far away that it was impossible for him to reach the goal. And the turtle won.

Moral: don’t make fun of others and always have a good attitude. Consistency is more valuable than speed ”. Didactic text characteristics types 

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