What is a Text?


Generally speaking, a text can be defined as any object regardless of its media.  However, in the context of the college writing class, the term text usually refers to a document made up of written words.  Although the history and meanings of this term text are fascinating, in the context of a discussion of college writing, the term can be defined simply as the "what," as opposed to the "why" or the "how" of writing.  For the time being, words, sentences, and paragraphs continue to be the primary materials used to craft texts for a college writing course, along with introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions.  While these materials may be supplemented by non-alphabetic signs of various kinds, there is plenty to learn about words, sentences, and paragraphs before moving on to an analysis of other types of materials (sounds, smells, images) that can be used in the creation of texts.

Adapted from What Is Writing?: An Introduction to Writing as an Act and Medium of Communication (2015)

See Also: Professor Rodgers' Open Access English Handbook

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