Difference Between Recount and Narrative

Main Difference – Recount vs Narrative

Recount and Narrative are two types of writings that describe a past happening or an event. The main difference between recount and narrative lies in their structure. The structure of a recount contains the orientation, series of events and  reorientation whereas the structure of a narrative contains the orientation, complication, resolution, and coda. If the stages or a structure of a narrative text and a recount text are graphed, a narrative text has a pointed surface and a recount text has a flat surface

What is a Recount

Recount is a text that retells events or experience in the past. It is a record of events. The purpose of a recount can be informing, entertaining or reflecting. A recount text can be categorized into three sections. They are,

Orientation – Orientation describes the background of the event that you are retelling. It introduces the setting, characters and time period.

Events – The series of events that happened in the past, in a chronological order. This is the core of a recount.

Reorientation – The text ends in reorientation; this can be a summary, evaluative comment or a return to the starting point. This part is optional.Difference Between Recount and Narrative-process

A recount can be personal, factual or imaginative.

Personal Recount is a retelling of events that you were personally involved in.

Ex: diary entry, autobiography

Factual recount is reporting the factual information about an incident.

Ex: newspaper article, police report, historical recount

Imaginative recount is combining factual information and an imaginary role.

What is a Narrative

Narrative, as its name suggests tell us a story. The purpose of a narrative is to entertainment. Narratives often contain a moral or a message, thus, it also educates the readers. A narrative can be studied under four main stages. They are,

Orientation gives the background of the story. The characters, place, and time are introduced in the orientation.

Complication is also known as conflict. In this part, the main characters are confronted with a problem. This is where suspense is introduced to the story.

Resolution describes how the characters resolve the problem.

Coda summarizes the narrative and marks the end. A coda is not an essential part of a narrative; it is optional.

Myths, Legends, Fables and Adventure stories are some examples of narratives.Difference Between Recount and Narrative-graph

Difference Between Recount and Narrative


Recount retells an event.

Narrative narrates a story.


The purpose of a Recount is to inform and entertain.

The purpose of a Narrative is mainly to entertain.


Recount has a flat surface.

Narrative has a pointed surface.


Recount does not have any suspense as it is mainly a description.

Narrative has elements like suspense and mystery.


Recount does not have a complication or a resolution.

Narrative has a complication and a resolution.

Central part

The central part of a Recount is the sequence of events.

The central part of a Narrative is the conflict faced by its characters.


Recount describes the events in a chronological order.

Narrative does not use a specific order.

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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