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Reading Apprenticeship and RATs: Text Features/Structures

This guide is to support RTC's RATs (Reading Apprenticeship Teachers and supporters) in improving student reading comprehension in content-areas with the use of WestEd's Reading Apprenticeship framework. RTC-RATs.org is now being redirected to this site.

Text Features/Structure - Definition and Use

Text Features are structures that authors use to organize information, to cue readers and to clarify content. Sometimes text features/structures are invisible to students unless instructors explicitly point them out or teach them.

Text features/structures fall into broad categories:

  • Conventions of text (titles, headings, subheadings, legends, illustrations, etc.)
  • Conventions of print (bold type, italics, white space, punctuation, etc.)
  • Conventions of organization (cause & effect, compare & contrast, sequencing, etc.)
  • Conventions of genre (textbooks, fiction, maps, manuals, medical charts, etc.).

When readers use these supporting structures effectively, they are better able to engage in the text. Understanding text features/structures is a key skill necessary in summarizing information.

Websites about Text Features/Structures

RTC Library Materials about Text Features/Structures

Below are RTC Library materials about using Text Features/Structures. Click on the item title for more information about the item from the Library's online catalog.