Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Recounts and narrative


What is a recount?

A recount tells about something that happened in the past. The details in a recount can include what happened, who was involved, where it took place, when it happened and why it occurred.

A writer or speaker uses a recount to tell us about a story or an event. Recounts are usually given in the order that the event occurred. Recounts can be:

    factual, such as a news story
    procedural, such as telling someone how you built something
    personal, such as a family holiday or your opinion on a subject.

Examples of a recount

Recounts can be either written or spoken. Examples of recounts include:

    biographies and autobiographies
    newspapers or the television news
    letters and postcards
    conversations with friends

Example of a recount text:

My Rush Time as a Journalist

I usually woke up at eight o'clock a.m. and went to the Press Center to check the daily schedule of briefings and press conferences. It was usually held by the United Nation officials or disaster mitigation team.

It was challenging to visit different refugee camps to find soft stories, human interest stories. After that I went back to the Press Center to cover the press conferences of the day.

It was heart breaking when I saw these survivors fight for food and secondhand clothing. Unfortunately as they said, the food and clothing were limited and inadequate. Emerging to glaring, fool noon, it was time to go back to Press Center to write stories and race against time. I was always fearing that the internet would come crushing down.

After everything was done, only then I remembered to eat. Most times, I only ate once a day because I always had to rush and again it was difficult to find food. I had to travel quite far. I needed to spend a 30 to 45 minutes by car just to find fresh food.



Narratives tend to feature the use of:

    past tense verbs (mostly simple past but past perfect, past progressive, and sometimes would/could for past time meanings)
    adverbs with past time reference
    chronological order (signaled by those adverbials)
    proper nouns (for the names of people and places)
    personal pronouns (to refer to those people and places)

Research on narrative structure (see Bardovi-Harlig's work) points out the two major divisions that make up a narrative: (1) a story has a "foreground" that is the basic story and generally uses simple past tense verbs and is in chronological order; but a story also has (2) background which includes all the information that the storyteller thinks you need to have to understand the story--for example, generalizations, descriptions and previous events that influence the events in the story.  The background tends to be more grammatically complex than the foreground with a greater variety of verb types--present tense for generalizations that are still true in the present, past perfect for events that happened prior to the time of the story, and others. 

The background tends to be harder for our students to write than the foreground.  For one thing, the grammar is more complicated.  Just as importantly, knowing what your reader doesn't know is a very difficult task for a writer.  We all struggle with that puzzle constantly in our writing.

Example of Narrative Text:

The Story of Sangkuriang and Tangkuban Perahu Mountain

Once, there was a kingdom in Priangan Land. Lived a happy family. They were a father in form of dog,his name is Tumang, a mother which was called is Dayang Sumbi, and a child which was called Sangkuriang.
One day, Dayang Sumbi asked her son to go hunting with his lovely dog, Tumang. After hunting all day, Sangkuriang began desperate and worried because he hunted no deer. Then he thought to shot his own dog. Then he took the dog liver and carried home.

Soon Dayang Sumbi found out that it was not deer lever but Tumang's, his own dog. So, She was very angry and hit Sangkuriang's head. In that incident, Sangkuriang got wounded and scar then cast away from their home.

Years go bye, Sangkuriang had travel many places and finally arrived at a village. He met a beautiful woman and felt in love with her. When they were discussing their wedding plans, The woman looked at the wound in Sangkuriang's head. It matched to her son's wound who had left severall years earlier. Soon she realized that she felt in love with her own son.

She couldn't marry him but how to say it. Then, she found the way. She needed a lake and a boat for celebrating their wedding day. Sangkuriang had to make them in one night. He built a lake. With a dawn just moment away and the boat was almost complete. Dayang Sumbi had to stop it. Then, she lit up the eastern horizon with flashes of light. It made the cock crowed for a new day.
Sangkuriang failed to marry her. She was very angry and kicked the boat. It felt over and became the mountain of Tangkuban Perahu Bandung.






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