The Structure of Text
I n recent years, researchers in the area of reading have been investigating the effects of the structure among the ideas presented in a text on what the reader learns and retains from the text. Texts are obviously more organized than simple lists of sentences or ideas, and understanding their organization can shed light on important aspects of the reading process. This chapter is designed to provide an overview of some of the ways the structure of text can be described. It will include a brief historical review of contributions from a number of disciplines, a review of the more commonly used descriptive systems in present-day reading research, and a discussion of the issues of current concern to researchers in the area.