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The basic text features of informational text; tools that help readers best-use the text for learning

Table of Contents

Lists the main sections of the text and the page number on which each section starts; found at the front of the book


Alphabetical list of key names, terms, events, and topics covered in the text, plus the page number(s) where you can find them; usually in the back of the book


Alphabetical list of key vocabulary words in the text and their definitions; usually in the back of the book

Side bar

Text box containing text that provides more information than is in the main text; can include interesting facts or important information the author wants to call attention to


Visuals such as photos, illustrations, diagrams, graphs, etc. that help readers understand the text

Boldface type

Dark letters indicating that a word or idea in the text is especially important; often highlights key vocabulary words

Background knowledge

What you already know about a topic through other reading and/or your own personal experience; influences how well you will be able to comprehend the text


Slanted letters that draw attention to an extra-important idea


Tells the topic that will be covered in a particular section of the text; often larger in font-size than the regular text


Explains what is shown in a particular graphic

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