Do you know what functional texts are? It is a type of text where the appellative function of language predominates, that is, the one that refers to the fact that the sender looks for some type of behavior or reaction in the receiver through the words. Functional text example
Thus, they are texts that provide instructions or guidelines for the recipient in relation to some activity, action or task. But what are its fundamental characteristics? And its functions and utilities? How can they be classified? We will answer these and other questions through this article.
Functional texts: what are they?
Functional texts are those that, as their name indicates, fulfill a specific function; that is to say, they are texts that are addressed to the recipient of the message in a direct, clear and concrete way, and have the mission that he / she performs a specific action .
Through this type of text, we guide the recipient of the message in the execution of said action. Beyond this guide, sometimes functional texts also provide the recipient with the materials they need to perform the action in question (which is the action we want to see or “get”).
The language function that predominates in this type of text is the appellative function. This function of language (also called conative function) is the one that focuses on the receiver of the message, and has to do with the fact that the sender expects some kind of reaction from the receiver . Through it, the sender tries to influence the behavior or attitude of the receiver.
What are they used for?
As we will see below, functional texts seek to instruct the reader in some activity or task.
These are very frequent texts in our day to day, and in addition to giving us instructions in relation to any task, they also provide us with indications, recommendations, advice, guidelines, etc., that can facilitate the action or performance of the recipient in the task in question .
Some examples of functional texts are: cookery recipes, instruction manuals, formulary of a remedy (vademecums are texts with the fundamental information of a material), informative notes from schools, style manuals, instructions in a written exam, etc. . Functional text example
As we have been able to investigate, functional texts are generally instructional texts (that is, those that instruct us in some activity). What characteristics do they present?
Functional texts, as well as instructive texts, always have a title; the title gives us the information as to whether the text we are going to read is simply instructive, or whether it is directly a manual (for example, an instruction manual).
Depending on whether the text is very long or very short, and the characteristics of the instructions used, we can also find subtitles in this type of text.
Numbering is also common in functional and instructional texts . Normally, these detail the steps to follow when obtaining something (for example, assembling a piece of furniture, in the case of an instruction manual, or operating a coffee maker).
4. Graphic resources
Another characteristic of functional texts, or instructional texts, is that they usually present different graphic resources to enrich its content and facilitate its understanding. These resources are: vignettes, illustrations, colors, tables, graphics …
However, the text itself is still the most important thing in this type of document , since it is the one that provides the information on what to do.
5. Specialized vocabulary
The vocabulary used is a type of vocabulary that is specialized in the subject in question, as well as being very precise. It may include the use of technical terms . Functional text example
6. They fulfill a specific function
As we anticipated at the beginning of the article, functional texts fulfill a specific function; that is, they are not purely recreational or entertainment texts.
Types of functional texts
In turn, functional texts can be of different types (they are functional texts as long as they meet the aforementioned characteristics, although these will vary from one type of text to another). Thus, the types of functional texts that we can find are the following:
1. Newspaper texts
Journalistic texts fulfill three functions: inform, train and entertain . When they also fulfill the appellate function of language and instruct in something, we speak of journalistic functional texts.
2. Advertising texts
This type of text disseminates content that encourages the purchase of certain products or services . The function of language that predominates here is the referential or representative, which is related to some factors of communication such as the referent and the context (that is, any factor external to the communication itself).
3. Scientific and technical texts
4. Literary texts
When functional texts are literary, their mission is to last over time (that is, they are texts that “seek” to be preserved for their artistic value). They are addressed to everyone, and communication is established between the author of the text and his readers . Functional text example
5. Historical texts
Through them stories are told, which are represented by different characters and which are framed within a historical period or moment.
6. Entertainment texts
Your goal is for the recipient to be entertained, enjoyed, and have a good time . The information that the reader obtains through this type of text is usually not relevant (that is, the objective here is another).
7. Informative texts
Finally, functional texts can also be informative texts, when the sender intends to make known a specific situation to the receiver .
Another possible classification
We have seen how functional texts can “specialize” in different fields (that is, there are different types of it). However, it is not the only existing classification.
Now we are going to see another one, which divides them into three types: personal, school and work texts. What does each one consist of and what examples can we find in each group?
1. Personal texts
As their name suggests, they are for personal use. Examples of them are: agendas, emails, newspapers …
2. School texts
3. Labor texts
Finally, functional work texts are those related to the work or professional environment. Examples are: petition letters, job applications, memoranda, etc.
Examples of Functional Texts
The following is an example of a tip or tip for roasting marble:
2- Cooking Recipe
Cooking recipes are one of the most common examples of functional texts.
180 g of margarine
130 g of sugar
300 g of flour
150 ml of water
100 g of chocolate chips
20 g of baking powder
1 tablespoon of vanilla essence.
3- Style manual
The following is an excerpt from the American Psychological Association (APA) style manual on how to make appointments according to the number of authors:
When there are two authors, their surnames will be separated by “and”, if published in English by “&”.
– Rosenblum and Kuttner (2010) state that it is possible (…).
Three to five authors
When there are three to five authors, the first time they are cited, they indicate the surname of all. Afterwards, only the first one is cited and et al is added, followed by a period (et al.).
-Reimers, Mckemmish, McKenzie and Mark (2009) state that this was evidenced in several experiments (…). Reimers et al. (2009) report that it is important (…) Functional text example
six or more authors
When there are six or more authors, the surname of the first is cited, followed by et al. from the first quote.
– Hameroff et al. (2006) states that microtubules (…)
In the case of a corporate author, the organization name is placed instead of the surname. The full name is cited for the first time and the acronym is indicated in parentheses. Henceforth, it is quoted only with the acronym.
According to the National Police (PONAL, 2010) …, homicides (Polícia Nacional [PONAL], 2010).
4- Instructions in a written test
Any type of instruction is an example of working text. Therefore, even the indications in the written tests are texts of this type:
Read the instructions carefully. Select two of the questions presented below and develop them on the blank page.
Although the timetables of educational institutions do not offer instructions, they are functional texts, as they provide information about the place and time when a subject will be taught or an event will be held.
8:00-9:30 Theory and Theory II. classroom 225
9:30-11:00 Music History I. Classroom 232.
8:00-11:00 Piano I. Main Auditorium.
11:00-12:45 History of Art I. Classroom 210.
8:00-9:30 Theory and Theory II. classroom 225
9:30-12:45 Piano I. Rehearsal room.
6- User manuals
Manuals provide guidelines that a user must follow to ensure the proper functioning of a device.
How to install SIM card in your phone?
Insert the SIM card into any of the slots marked with the words “SIM1” or “SIM2”. Make sure the gold contacts on the card are facing the phone.
Telephone directories provide pointers that you may find useful. They not only provide contact information but also indicate the direction in which certain establishments are located. Functional text example
Signs and signs present in public and private spaces are examples of functional texts: with few words, they provide precise instructions and indications.
Some examples are:
– Slowly, school district.
– Slow, dangerous curve.
– Female bathroom / male bathroom.
– Do not stop. Parking.
Some pamphlets and brochures are examples of functional text. For example, those that announce the opening of a store.
This Thursday, September 28, 2017, will be the grand opening of Buenos Momentos , your music store. Here you will find everything from sheet music to musical instruments from the best brands. Participate! We wait for you!
Memos, memos or memos, are functional texts that aim to capture information that must be remembered.
In general, they contain instructions that must be performed by employees of a company, notifications of changes in the organization, reminders of conferences that will take place in the near future, and so on.