What is text features? Strategies for Teaching Students to Use.

You want to make your website more engaging for visitors, but you’re not sure how. 

Adding text features can help you get a better understanding of what your users are looking for and what they think about it. This will allow you to improve the overall user experience of your site.

There’s a number of different types of text features that can be used on any kind of website or blog including blogs, product pages, search results page, and even social media posts. In this article, we’ll share with you some examples from big e-commerce sites so that you can see exactly how these features work in practice.

What are text features?

Text features are visual qualities of text that help organize information for easier comprehension. Different text features have different effects on how users perceive the text. Some text features are headings, subheadings, highlighted words or phrases, bolded text, pictures, and diagrams. By using these different text features effectively, you can help communicate your message to the reader and improve comprehension.

what is text features?
what is text features?

What is the Purpose of Text Features?

In nonfiction material, each text feature serves a specific purpose. But the main purpose of text features makes it easier to read, easy access to information and research materials.

The table of contents and index assist the reader in quickly determining which pages of the book contain specific information; knowledge can be obtained without having to read the entire book.

Headings, subheadings, highlighted words or phrases, bolded text, pictures, and diagrams depict information clearly.

The combination of text and text features presents information in an organized and structured format that helps readers easily obtain information systematically.

What Types of Text Features Are There?

Text features are the different components of a piece of text which help to convey its message. There are many types of text features, and they can be categorized into three larger groups: structural, visual, and linguistic.

What Types of Text Features Are There?
What Types of Text Features Are There?

Structural text features

Structural text features are what you’re probably already familiar with. They are the parts of a text that help bring it together as a whole, such as headings, subheadings, paragraphs, and other elements like these. Although structural text features are not what you would typically associate with ‘text features’, they play a crucial role in presenting the message(s) of the text to readers.

Visual text features

Visual text features are those that can be seen as well as reads, such as images, diagrams, and graphs. Again, these might not immediately come to mind when you think of text components, but they are used extensively within texts in order to convey messages. In some cases, visual elements can be more effective than structural or linguistic text features at conveying a message.

Linguistic text features

Linguistic text features are those that have been created by the author through the use of language. There are two types of linguistic text features: lexical and grammatical.

Lexical text features are the vocabulary choices the author makes, such as the words they choose to use or not to use. The author creates lexical text features through their choice of specific words and the way they string those words together.

Grammatical text features are what you’re probably already familiar with. They include things like punctuation, verb forms, and word order. They are created by the author through their use of grammar.

Text features work together to convey a message to readers.

Tips for teaching students to use the text feature?

The text features can be a difficult concept for students to understand and utilize effectively. For example: “I like the word, ‘says, because it shows that the word is being said.” This child chose to comment on one of the text features that she struggled to use. Many students do not understand text features and what they are at a young age. An article from Joelle Jolivet describes a very interesting method for teaching students to use text features. I have used this method before with success and hope that you can as well!

Tips for teaching students to use the text feature?
Tips for teaching students to use the text feature?


1) “The first step is to teach them what the text features are. It may be helpful to think of each one as telling you something different about what is being said in the text. For example, when you come across a word inside of quotation marks, you can assume that it is something someone actually said. Text features help you better understand what is happening in the story.” 

2) “I like to start by teaching one text feature at a time so that students can really grasp its meaning before learning another.”

3) “The second step is to give them opportunities to practice using the text features independently and collaboratively with peers.”

4) “The third step is to have them practice identifying the text features with a particular story.”

5) “For example, I might read a book about a soccer player and ask students to identify which text features are used throughout. After reading, we can discuss what type of information each feature gives us as readers.” *Hold a class discussion about the text features and what they thought of how it added to their understanding.

*Give them a double-sided text feature worksheet and have students read various stories and identify which text features are used. 

*Create questions that will help students recognize which text features were at work in the story. 

In order for this method to be successful, students must have a strong understanding of what text features are and how they can help us as readers. 


What do we use text features for?

Text features also assist readers in determining what is important to both the text and them. Readers who don’t have a table of contents or an index may waste time flipping through the book to find the information they need. Special print draws the reader’s attention to important or keywords and phrases.

How to teach students to use text feature walk structure?

The text feature walk structure is a simple method that allows students to write about anything through the eyes of different characters. The basic idea behind this structure is the ability of students to create an argument and prove it by using different perspectives.

One of the most effective ways to teach students how to write with evidence is by using different text feature walks. Analytical writing is important at any level of education or career path. The ability to analyze a situation and write about it using evidence from the text is a valuable skill that will serve a student well.

What is an example of text features?

Text features are anything that helps present the text. Text features can be actions, characters, or even illustrations.

An illustration is a form of art that draws or paints what is happening in a scene or story. 

The main text is the book and it has some smaller text features. Table of contents, index, glossary, headings, bold words, sidebars, pictures and captions, and labeled diagrams are examples.


Text features are the characteristics of text that can be detected by the software. The most common types of text features include font size, typeface, weight (boldness), and color. These elements help to distinguish one word from another in a document or webpage so it’s easier for readers to understand what they’re looking at. If you need more questions, let comment below.

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