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					Evans, Dooley. 1998. “Mission: FCE 2” Express Publishing
Jod owiec, Szuba-Kucia, William, urakowska-Gedliczka. 2004. „J zyk Angielski Matura Companion Egzamin Pisemny” Egis & Express
Publishing
Abridged by Krzysztof Matecki


2. Writing a Narrative
stories, factual reports

  Narrative writing includes stories and factual reports. Narratives describe a sequence of
events. To describe these events in chronological order, we use a variety of past tenses like
Past Simple, Past Continuous, Past Perfect, etc along with appropriate sequence words such
as: First, At first, Then / Next, After / Before (that), During / Meanwhile, Finally, As soon as,
The moment that, No sooner ... than, Hardly ... when, Immediately, Since, While, Until, By the
time, As.



                                                  Style in Narratives

            Informal style for stories                                   Formal style for factual reports
     Personal style                                                   Impersonal style
     Use of Direct Speech to enliven the narration                    Frequent use of Passive Voice / Direct and
     Detailed and chatty descriptions (wide use of                    Reported Speech, (short forms are acceptable
     adjectives)                                                      only in quotes)
     Colloquial English (use of idioms and idiomatic                  Only facts, not chatty descriptions
     expressions; short forms are acceptable)                         Complex sentence structure, well-developed
                                                                      paragraphs, high level of vocabulary, non-
                                                                      colloquial English




2.1 Stories

  A story can be written either in the first person or in the third person. When the story is
written in the first person, the writer is part of the story and expresses his own personal
feelings and experiences. When the story is written in the third person, the writer is not
directly involved in the story but a clear picture of the feelings and experiences of the people
involved is given. Stories often report events which already took place and therefore we need
to apply a number of different tenses such as Past Simple, Past Continuous, Past Perfect, Past
Perfect Continuous and Future in the Past. Obviously, the events described may be real or
imaginary similarly to the places and characters in the text.
  To enliven the text and make your story more interesting, you may use Direct Speech,
quoting the exact words of the characters but remember about the correct punctuation
  Stories include Reported or Direct Speech; the use of short forms is acceptable since it is
informal writing. When writing a story, bear in mind that it must be exciting, strange or funny
in order to hold the reader's interest. Some important factors that determine successful
narrative writing are: a) a good beginning, b) a good ending, c) an interesting plot, d) a
combination of short and long sentences, e) quotes from the people involved, f) moving back
or forward in time and g) creating mystery/suspense.




                                                             -1-
Evans, Dooley. 1998. “Mission: FCE 2” Express Publishing
Jod owiec, Szuba-Kucia, William, urakowska-Gedliczka. 2004. „J zyk Angielski Matura Companion Egzamin Pisemny” Egis & Express
Publishing
Abridged by Krzysztof Matecki


                                         Paragraph Plans for Narratives

                             Introduction                            Main Body*                             Conclusion

                          Paragraph 1               Paragraph 2               Paragraphs 3-4            Final Paragraph

Stories                   Set the scene: who,       Before the main           The main event(s)         End the story (refer
                          where, when               event(s) (describe        (describe the main        to moods,
                          (describe the             incidents leading up      event(s), people          consequences,
                          weather, time,            to the main event)        involved, give more       people’s reactions,
                          atmosphere, people                                  details, etc.)            feelings, comments)
                          involved, possible
                          feelings, etc.)

                          * The main body may include one to three paragraphs.

MODEL: Write a story titled “The most frightening experience of your life”.

     I first noticed the rising water level of the river Dinn on Sunday afternoon when I took my
dog for a walk. By evening, the rain had got really heavy and I could see the river flowing
faster and faster.
     When I woke up early on Monday, the river sounded like it had become really wild and I
began to worry that it might burst its banks. I did the housework all morning. Then, at about
12.30, I suddenly heard a crashing sound.
     I looked out of the window and saw that the river had become a raging torrent, knocking
down trees and sweeping away any obstacles in its path.
     Almost immediately the water surrounded my house. Then I heard an Emergency Services
helicopter flying overhead. I dashed out onto the balcony and waved frantically. Next, they
lowered a rescue line and a man from the helicopter shouted "Hold on tight!" as they pulled
me up into the helicopter. Then they took me along with a whole load of people from Dinnead
to an emergency shelter in the neighbouring town of Weardale.
     It was the most frightening experience of my life. I was relieved to be rescued but
devastated to see that the flood had nearly destroyed my home.

MODEL: Write a story which includes the following sentence: What was going to be a
quiet restful evening turned into a hectic and exciting one.

     It was a dreary wet autumn evening. Joanna and her little son, Robert, were just about to
enter their block when they saw something. This something had huge glittering eyes and
looked like a dripping black hank of wool. "Poor little doggy," Robert whispered.
     Although they could not afford to have a dog, there was no question about it - Blackie, as
Robert called him, had to be taken home. What was going to be a quiet restful evening turned


                                                             -2-
Evans, Dooley. 1998. “Mission: FCE 2” Express Publishing
Jod owiec, Szuba-Kucia, William, urakowska-Gedliczka. 2004. „J zyk Angielski Matura Companion Egzamin Pisemny” Egis & Express
Publishing
Abridged by Krzysztof Matecki


into a hectic and exciting one. Robert was the happiest child on earth, hugging and caressing
the fury creature after the dog had been properly washed and fed.
     Blackie proved a very intelligent dog. The following morning he walked at Robert's heels
without a leash. He understood Joanna and Robert almost without words; he appreciated they
had saved him.
     On the third day Blackie woke Joanna up at 5 a.m. Joanna thought a short walk would do,
but the moment she opened the door, she knew something was going on. Blackie kept looking
at her. She urged him, "Come on, Blackie. Do it! Let's go back to bed." But Blackie was only
looking at Joanna once in a while. And then she understood. Blackie had to go; he had to
continue his journey. Joanna said, "OK, doggie, I understand." Blackie immediately started to
run and soon disappeared.
     It took some time before Robert came to terms with what had happened. It was difficult
but he accepted that Blackie could not be his. (251 words)

MODEL: Write a story beginning with the words: It happened on the day of ...

     It happened on the day of my final university examination. I had to travel from my
hometown, Zakopane, to Warsaw. Although the exam was scheduled for 4 p.m., I had to take
the first morning train to be safe rather than sorry.
     I packed a smart black dress and a pair of high-heels into a backpack, together with piles
of notes to study from during the trip. I was leaving when Mum shouted, "Wait!" After a
while she came back with a beautiful amber necklace, adding "It will bring you good luck!" I
had to run, so I quickly put it on although it did not go well with the casual clothes.
     I got on the train in the nick of time. I had the whole compartment to myself for the
Zakopane - Krakow trip and then a charming elegant elderly couple joined me. Just minutes
before Warsaw Central I needed to go to the toilet. I asked the couple to watch my luggage.
When I returned, the train was pulling into the station. The compartment was empty. Literally
empty - the couple had disappeared and so had my backpack!
     I took my final viva in casual clothes, but the necklace was shining nicely on the blue
pullover. Despite being very nervous, I got top grades for all the answers. Having
congratulated me, the head examiner asked if I was considering doing postgraduate research.
     I was happy. The necklace did help. Who cares about an old dress and a pair of shoes!
(250 words)




                                                             -3-
Evans, Dooley. 1998. “Mission: FCE 2” Express Publishing
Jod owiec, Szuba-Kucia, William, urakowska-Gedliczka. 2004. „J zyk Angielski Matura Companion Egzamin Pisemny” Egis & Express
Publishing
Abridged by Krzysztof Matecki


2.2 Factual Reports (optional)

A factual report is a different kind of narrative writing. It is normally formal writing;
therefore, it is written in impersonal style. A factual report does not include the writer's
feelings, but only facts. Use of the passive voice and reporting verbs such as suggest, add,
complain, etc. is frequent. The events are described by using past tenses (Past Perfect, Past
Continuous, Past Simple). Short forms are not acceptable unless Direct Speech (quotes from
the people involved in the event) is used.


                             Introduction                            Main Body*                             Conclusion

                          Paragraph 1               Paragraph 2, 3, 4                                   Final Paragraph

Factual reports           Summary of the            Development of the event(s) (describe the           Comments /
                          event (write about        main event(s), people involved. Give                Reference to
                          time, place, people       detailed facts. If it is two or more events,        future
                          involved. Do not          each paragraph should deal with one                 developments
                          give detailed, chatty     topic.)
                          descriptions – give
                          only facts.)

                          * The main body may include one to three paragraphs.

MODEL: Write a factual report on the most frightening event in your life.

     Residents of Dinnead were evacuated from the town yesterday as major flooding
continued.
     Torrential rain caused a nearby river to swell and, as a result, many areas were flooded.
The rain started to fall early on Sunday morning and by noon on Monday the small river Dinn
had burst its banks and turned into a raging torrent.
     As the water rose to dangerous levels, many families were airlifted to safety by
Emergency Services. Only a few minor injuries were reported. However, the majority of
homes have been damaged beyond repair; houses on the river bank were completely
destroyed.
     The rain is expected to continue for the next two days, but reports say that fine weather is
forecast for the weekend. Meanwhile, emergency housing is being provided for the victims in
the neighbouring town of Weardale.
     Dinnead's mayor, Tom Farell, stated, "The town's emergency services acted quickly and
efficiently. Thus, injuries were limited and there were no fatalities." Mayor Farell and the
town planning commission are currently discussing the construction of a dam to prevent
further incidents of flooding.




                                                             -4-

				
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