Language and Linguistics

Structural reading characteristics and examples

Structural reading

The structural reading is to read a text and achieve understanding through a detailed analysis to a logical and coherent understanding of the message. This type of reading is also known as analytical since the receiver must delve into all aspects of the information.

The main objective of structural reading is to recognize the relationship between the title and the content of the text. At the same time identify the main ideas and know the type of book or informational material that is read. This variety of reading links the reader or audience with each of the parts of a book.

On the other hand, structural reading also seeks to relate or compare the information presented by the author with other similar ones. In the same way, by using this comprehension and analysis technique, the reader can associate the message and other elements of the text with some event, problem or situation of a specific community.

Structural reading characteristics

According to what has been described above, the structural reading is characterized by the following aspects:

1-Identification of the type of text

Structural reading facilitates knowing the qualities of the text, whether it is argumentative, narrative or expository. To get to this point a first deep reading is necessary. With that information, it is much easier to advance in the understanding of the work.


Another of the most outstanding features of structural reading is that it allows the understanding of the entire text. Having already deciphered the type of text that is being studied, we proceed to analyze each element that is in view, as well as the background of the message that the author wishes to give.

This leads the reader to know first-hand the motivations that the author of the book had to raise the specific topic. This facilitates the understanding of the material and at the same time its influence and avoids falling into assumptions lacking in arguments and analysis.

Achieving the understanding of a text through structural reading leads to the appreciation of the macrostructure. This means that each of the parts that make up the work and their relationship between them is understood.

3-Message identification

The structural or analytical reading aims to identify the message that the author sought to capture in his work. Hence the study of all elements of the information.

All literary creation has a why and a why, it pursues a communicational purpose. That is why the book or text must be studied as a whole because the central idea can be embodied in any of the phases that comprise it.

After being identified the message that the writer wanted to leave, the content of the book is really exposed.

4-Check the complement or opposition of the elements of the text

After identifying the type of text and the various elements that coexist within its framework and its message, it is necessary to see how they are related to each other, if they complement or oppose each other. Within the structural reading this allows a broader vision of what the author sought to convey at first.


In carrying out the structural reading, it is essential to make annotations in order to identify the main and secondary ideas. This facilitates the logical and coherent analysis of all the information presented by the author of the book.

However, note-taking and schematic development should be based on all the parts that make up the reading material. Hence, the reader must stop and carefully study the prologue, the title, subtitles, introduction , development, annexes and conclusions made by the author.


Structural reading requires constant approach to the text. This means that the information must be read several times to identify all the necessary aspects for its understanding.

At first the reader approaches to detect the most basic data. Then the material is read and reviewed in greater detail.

In this phase, the intention of the author, the message he wants to give, in the content, the relationship of the topic with previous research and the social implications that the development of the work may have is explored.


A good structural reading implies that the underlining of the information that is considered of greater importance is carried out. This allows differentiating what is really necessary for understanding the underlying message, from what is superficial.


Structural Reading of Little Red Riding Hood by Chasles Perrault

Everyone knows the story of Little Red Riding Hood, and among the most popular versions that of Charles Perrault stands out. The following is the simulation of a brief analysis product of a structural reading:

1-Type of text

Applying the characteristics of structural reading, we proceed to identify the type of text. For obvious reasons, it is a narrative text.


In this case it implies the recognition of the context and the characters that participate. The forest as the place where events take place, the Little Red Riding Hood, the grandmother, the wolf and the hunter as main figures and the entire plot that weaves their interactions.

3-Message identification

Although there is a clear message to children not to talk to strangers or trust them, deep down there are several others. Perhaps one of the most significant and that many leave aside is the role of Little Red Riding Hood’s mother.

Who sends a little girl alone to a forest? It seems a lie, but there is evidence of a reality that is very current today and also present in Perrault’s time. The neglect of parents in raising and of their children is a very marked criticism present in this story.

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