Checklist – Recount (RTF 31KB)
The purpose of a recount is to list and describe past experiences by retelling events in the order in which they happened (chronological order). Recounts are written to retell events with the purpose of either informing or entertaining their audience (or both).
Types of recount
These usually retell an event that the writer was personally involved in.
Recording an incident, eg. a science experiment, police report.
Writing an imaginary role and giving details of events, eg. A day in the life of a pirate; How I invented...
Features of recounts
- focuses on individual participants/events
- the recount has a title, which usually summarises the text
- specific participants (Mum, the crab)
- The basic recount consists of three parts:
- the setting or orientation - background information answering who? when? where? why?
- events are identified and described in chronological order.
- concluding comments express a personal opinion regarding the events described
- details are selected to help the reader reconstruct the activity or incident (Factual Recount)
- the ending may describe the outcome of the activity, eg. in a science activity (Factual Recount)
- details of time, place and incident need to be clearly stated, eg. At 11.15 pm, between Reid Rd and Havelock St a man drove at 140 kms toward the shopping centre (Factual Recount)
- descriptive details may also be required to provide information, eg. He was a skinny boy with a blue shirt, red sneakers and long tied back hair (Factual Recount)
- includes personal thoughts/reactions (Imaginative Recount)
- is written in the past tense (she yelled, it nipped, she walked)
- frequent use is made of words which link events in time, such as next, later, when, then, after, before, first, at the same time, as soon as she left, late on Friday)
- recounts describe events, so plenty of use is made of verbs (action words), and of adverbs (which describe or add more detail to verbs)
- details are often chosen to add interest or humour to the recount.
- use of personal pronouns (I, we) (Personal Recount)
- the passive voice may be used, eg. the bottle was filled with ink (Factual Recount)
Hood, H. Left to Write Too (2000) Dunmore Press.
Shared Writing Experience: Recount: Page 56.
Recounts: Page 36-37.
Wing Jan, L. Write Ways: Modelling Writing Forms. (1991). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Recount Writing: Page 78.
Derewianka, B. Exploring How Texts Work. (1990). Sydney: Primary Teaching Association.
Sequencing Events: Page 148-150.
The grammatical features of recounts - past tenses, action verbs: Page 145.
Basic Structure: Recounts: Page 141.
Knapp, P. & Watkins, M. Context-Text-Grammar (1994) Text Productions.
Recounts page 141