Recount

By | March 29, 2015

What is a recount?

A recount is a piece of writing in which the writer RETELLS a past event or experience. The focus of this writing is on specific events or people, NOT general topics. A recount is narrative in nature. The writer retells the most important events – not irrelevant details – in a chronological order.  In retelling the events, the writer uses the first person singular or plural (I or We), or the third person (He, she, or they). The writer also uses the past tenses in active voice. You can find recount writing in biographies, diaries, a newspaper report, and stories of past experience.

The following is an example of recount writing, which is a diary, taken from http://www.pdst.ie/node/591. The original source of this writing is a book called ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’, written by Anne Frank, published by Bantam Publishers.

Sunday, 14 June, 1942

On Friday, June 12th, I woke up at six o’clock and no wonder, it was my birthday. But of course I was not allowed to get up at that hour, so I had to control my curiosity until a quarter to seven. Then I could bear it no longer, and went to the dining room, where I received a warm welcome from Moortje (the cat).

Soon after seven I went to Mummy and Daddy and then to the sitting room to undo my presents. The first to greet me was you, possibly the nicest of all. Then on the table there were a bunch of roses, a plant, and some peonies, and more arrived during the day.

I got masses of things from Mummy and Daddy, and was thoroughly spoiled by various friends. Among other things I was given Camera Obscura, a party game, lots of sweets, chocolates, a puzzle, a brooch, Tales and Legends of the Netherlands by Joseph Cohen, Daisy’s Mountain Holiday (a terrific book) and some money. Now I can by The Myths of Greece and Rome – grand!

Then Lies called for me and we went to school. During recess I treated everyone to sweet biscuits, and then we had to go back to our lessons.

Now I must stop. Bye-bye, we’re going to be great pals!

We can see in the writing that the writer focuses on specific events on a specific day (occasion). Recount writing begins with an orientation, telling the setting, which includes where, when, what, and who. Uusually, a recount is concluded with a paragraph telling the writer’s opinion or feelings.

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