Expository Text

Authored by: Charles A. Weaver , Walter Kintsch

Handbook of Reading Research

Print publication date:  March  2016
Online publication date:  April  1996

Print ISBN: 9781138834262
eBook ISBN: 9780203447772
Adobe ISBN: 9781136610745


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Psychological models of text comprehension have traditionally focused on two major types of texts: expository texts, which comprise textbooks, training manuals, software documentation, and so forth; and narrative texts, whose purpose is more to entertain than to inform. Obviously, it is impossible to draw absolute boundaries, and similarities of processing abound (even a classic narrative text, such as the Wizard of Oz, tries to educate us—after all, “there is no place like home”). However, the main thrust of expository texts is to communicate information so that the reader might learn something. The main focus of narrative texts is to tell a story, so that the reader will be entertained. This chapter deals with current models of expository text comprehension and attempts to integrate current research with existing theoretical models.

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