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Genre (Text Type)

Recount Text in Teaching English

Active StudentsRecount text is categorized as “the story genre which functions to retell events for the purpose of informing or entertaining” (Hartono, 2005). Anderson & Anderson (2003) state that “a recount text is a piece of text retelling past events, usually in the order in which they happened. The purpose of a recount text is to give the audience a description of what occurred and when it occurred”. Knapp and Watkins (2005) emphasizes that text such as recount text has a basic form of sequencing units of information.

Meanwhile, Mukarto et al (2007) state that the generic structure or rhetorical features of a recount text consist of three parts, namely: a) orientation, it gives reader background information of the story. As the opening paragraph, it should answer the questions: who, what, where, when, and how; b) list/series of events, it tells a series of events in a chronological order and describes what happened (Biber & Conrad, 2009); c) reorientation, it consists of a type of conclusion with a comment or a summary and evaluation about the topic of the story.

Beside the generic structure or rhetorical features of a recount text, as Anderson & Anderson (2003) state, there are also the language features which are usually found in a recount text, they are: a) proper nouns to identify those involved in the text; b) descriptive words to give details about who, what, when, where, and how; c) the use of the past tense to retell the events, and 4) words that show the order of events or connectors (for example, first, next, then, etc).


Anderson, M. & Anderson, K. 2003. Text Types in English 1. South Yarra, Victoria: MacMillan Education Australia.

Biber, D. & Conrad, S. 2009. Register, Genre, and Style. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Hartono, R. 2005. Genre-Based Writing. Semarang: Semarang State University

Knapp, P. & Watkins, M. 2005. Genre, Text, Grammar: Technologies for Teaching and Assessing Writing. Sydney, Australia: University of New South Wales Press, Ltd.

Mukarto, Sujatmiko, Josephine, & Kiswara. 2007. English on Sky 2 for Junior High School Students Year VIII. Jakarta: Erlangga.


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5 thoughts on “Recount Text in Teaching English

  1. Great..!!! This genre is really the most interesting one for the students, isn’t it?

    From sort of genre which are learned for Junior High School students, recount text is the easy one for them. They can understand easily when they read the text. They can also write easily using this text. Because they can write and tell what they have done.

    My suggestion is you can add the way how to teach recount text. Perhaps it will be more interesting and of course give us ‘as a reader and a teacher’ many advantages.

    Wish many teachers read and apply it in their class…

    Posted by Anik | June 26, 2010, 3:46 pm
  2. One of the simplest way to teach recount is by using sequence of pictures and providing key words. It helps the students imagine the events in chronological order. Last semester I used a series of pictures describing a family going for a picnic to the beach.

    Posted by Yeri | July 3, 2011, 12:08 pm

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