4E - The Text Level
We have said that the information/end-focus principle tells us to place new and important information at the end of a clause, and to start the clause with information that our reader/listener already has. This example of a ‘mini-text’ illustrates the point.
Empty info new, salient info Known info new info
There was a car parked outside our front door. It was a yellow convertible
When we write longer stretches of texts, e.g. well-written paragraphs, catchy advertisements, coherent argumentation, we have to pay attention to the reader’s need
- to grasp the main topic of our text
- to understand the coherence between our sentences
- to follow the logical progression in our argumentation
- do take in our conclusion
The ideal outcome is that the reader is moved by our story, convinced by our arguments, persuaded to take our advice, etc. as the case may be.
The following simple table presents the over-arching organising principles of text production.
It must be added, though, that texts vary tremendously, depending upon their genre, audience, subject-matter, etc. This break-down shows the conventional structure of an argumentative text. It is still a very useful yardstick. When you know how to organise a conventional text, you can start experimenting with alternative structures.
Table: Per Lysvåg. Red: Amendor AS