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Ms Teo's Treasure Cove

Recount Vs. Narrative

Recount Vs. Narrative
Composition Planning
Using Rhetorical Devices
Story Ideas Dos and Don'ts
Crime and Its Penalties
Pace Action Fast

What is the difference?

Do you know what you are writing?


  • A recount is a record of events.
  • It has an orientation which gives the background to the events that took place.
  • It has a series of events told in the past tense. Time markers such as “yesterday”, “then”, “soon” are used to sequence the events.

         It may end with a re-orientation which refers the reader back to the orientation

  • A summarising comment

The core of a recount is its sequence of events.

Recounts are used most often in : 

  •  Newspaper articles – preceedings of a trial, description of a soccer match, events before and after the occurrence of natural disasters
  •  Police Reports
  • Biographies
  • Autobiographies
  • Diary Entries
  • Historical Records


         A narrative is a story.

         It has an orientation which gives the background to the story.

         It has an element of suspense introduced by a complication. Just as in real life, some sort of problem arises which the main character or characters in the story need to deal with.

         It has a resolution which tells how the main character or characters confront the problem and resolve it.

         It has a coda which summarises the point of the story.

       For example : Although that incident happened four years ago, I can still remember every single detail of it, and I do not think I will ever forget it. My mother still has not completely forgiven me, though. How can I blame her? I have not even forgiven myself.

         The core of a narrative is the complication faced by its characters.



Narratives are used most often in :


         Myths and Legends

         Detective Stories

         Adventure Stories


         Period Dramas

  • Narratives are written mainly for entertainment. Those which not only entertain but instruct are highly valued. They carry either a moral or message derived from the events in which characters are involved.

In the Orientation stage:


-Characters are introduced (who?)


-Setting is established (where? when?)


In the Complication stage:


-One or more of the characters face a problem


 -A pattern of events unfolds




4 Stages of A


In the Coda stage:


-Writer summarises the point of the story


-Main character or characters reflect on the situation and express their feelings about the situation


In the Resolution stage:


-Main character or characters confront the problem


-They attempt to overcome the problem

In composition writing, we write a NARRATIVE instead of a recount. And it should be written in PAST tense.