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A recount text tells us about something that happened in the past. The details in a recount can include what happened, the people involved, when it happened and where it took place.

A writer or speaker uses a recount to tell a story about an event. Recounts are thus often known as the story genre. This may include opinions from other people. Recounts can be:

  • personal, for example, a family holiday
  • factual like the news, a police report
  • imaginary, such as a story about the day it rained stars

Some recounts are told step by step to show how a goal was achieved. Imagine that you arrived at a party and a friend needed directions, for example. A recount would explain the steps that you took to get to the party.


·         Orientation: sets the scene

·         Sequence of events in the order in which they happened

·         A personal comment or reflection often at the end of the recount (optional)



Language features


·         Powerful opening to appeal to readers

·         First person

·         Past tense

·         Varied sentence lengths to create the appropriate effect

·         Words signaling time and processes e.g. As soon as.., A few moments later.., Then.., Finally..

·         Use of descriptive words / phrases such as adjectives (the tall man…), similes (she was smiling as brightly as the sun..)


Example of Recount



“Riiiiiing!” My alarm clock rang. It was time to get up.


My mother got me ready for school then I had to wait for her to brush my hair and place every strand in just the perfect position. I had to show her my shoes that I had cleaned the night before and my school bag had to be neatly put on my shoulder before I could get near the door. Only after my mother was totally satisfied would I be allowed to rush out of the front door.


 I would leave home at 8 am on the dot and make my way down the lane. After a walk of about 700 metres I would be able to see the tall steeple of the school. The playground would be full in the summer and the noise would make me want to rush into the yard and get into a good game of football before the bell went.



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1. Which sentence beginning would you most likely see in a recount?

A recount is a ...

After that, we ...

The next step is to ...

Tomorrow, the queen will visit ...


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