Textual structure can help you decipher meaning. Deciphering meaning depends on various very different things, from your state of mind to knowing about textual structure! Let me illustrate -- one who knows about Textual Structure knows that it is common to find topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph. This means that we can find initial sentences giving us the topic which will be developed in the paragraph. Knowing this helps us to focus in our skimming (when we read quickly to get a general idea of the topic). A different case is the pyramidal structure in news items: if you are reading a news item, you know the most relevant information is at the beginning and the least relevant at the end. Generally speaking, structure means at least a title - an intro - a body - an ending. This is also meaningful because it helps us focus when we need to find specific information.
Briefly, when you learn to notice textual structure, you learn to decipher general meaning and also how the info is grouped or organized. This means that if you know what kind of text you are looking at, you know where the information you need is.
(Emphatically) Recommended Reading...
Introduction to Textual Analysis 1 & 2 (2 includes printer-friendly version)
Introduction to Textual Analysis 3 (+ printer-friendly version)
You'll learn more from these examples if you've read the Recommended Reading above.
|News Items||Argumentative Texts|
BBC News Items
Ghosts, fact or fiction?
Speaking - Textual Structure