Mark posted a helpful article describing how to get started with basic LCD text displays –

LCD displays come in many sizes most often named by the number of rows and then the length of the display line. For example a 1×16 LCD display will have one row of sixteen characters and a 4×20 LCD display will have four rows with twenty characters in each.

LCDs can have backlighting or be reflective (think calculator). In either case the programming that goes into working these displays is the same. LCDs with backlight normally use two pins to provide power to the backlighting.

Many are often surprised at how easy to work with and affordable it is to add a text readout to a project. Check out relevant pinouts, communications explanations, and more at Spikenzie Labs