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Academic Reading & Writing

Narrative Style
• Narrative writing tells a story that has certain elements that are not
found in other types of writing.
• It can be a fictional story you can make up all of the events or
• Personal Narrative: A true story about an event that happened in your
• Narrative writing is a type of writing in which the author places himself
as a character, or not, and narrates the story.
• Novels, short stories, poetry and biographies can all fall into the
narrative writing category.
• Narrative writing often has situations like disputes, conflicts, action,
motivational events, problems and solutions.
• The people, animals, or inanimate objects who are affected by the
actions of the plot or who are the cause of certain events.
• Characters, real or imaginative, should be brought to life through
the narrative.
• The character whose actions form the basis of the plot, the main
character of the story.
• Character who oppose the protagonist and creates obstacles for
• Plot is the order of events that make up a story.
• The plot of a story is a series of interconnected events in which every occurrence
has a specific purpose. A plot is all about establishing connections, suggesting
causes, and showing relationships.
Aristotle’s Unified Plot
• Aristotle described the basic triangle-shaped plot structure, which has a
beginning, middle, and end.
Freytag’s Pyramid
• Freytag modified Aristotle’s pyramid by adding rising action and
falling action, making it a five part design.
Elements of Plot
• Exposition sets the scene. The writer introduces the characters
and setting, providing description and background.
• Rising Action builds during the story and gets more exciting. The
rising action is also the part of the work where the problem or
conflict central to the plot is truly introduced.
• Climax is the moment of greatest tension in the story. It is the
turning point of a story, novel or script when conflict reaches its
• Falling Action happens as a result of the climax and we know that
the story will soon end.
• Resolution is when the character solves the main
problem/conflict or someone solves it for him or her.
• Denouement is the series of events that follow the plot's climax. It
is the opposite of the exposition, in that any remaining questions
or mysteries that remain after the resolution are solved by the
characters or explained by the author. Sometimes the author leaves
us to think about the theme or future possibilities for the
When and where the story occurs (time and place)

Place: geographical location; where is the action of the story taking

Time : when is the story taking place? (historical period, time of
day, year, etc.)
• Weather Conditions : is it rainy, sunny, stormy, etc?
• Social Conditions : what is the daily life of the characters like?
Does the story mention the speech, dress, mannerisms, customs,
etc. of a particular place)?
• Mood or Atmosphere : what feeling is created during the story?
Is it bright and cheerful or dark and frightening? This element of
the setting can evolve throughout the story.
• The main point or central concept around which the story is
• Statement about life or human nature conveyed or implied through
the story.
• Author’s message or central insight that is communicated through
the story.
• Examples: betrayal, war, friendship, sacrifice etc.
Point of View
• First Person narrator ‘I’ is when the narrator is inside the story,
telling the story as a major or minor character. Most first person
stories are direct characterization because the author tells what he
or she is thinking.
• Third Person ‘He/She/They/it’
• Omniscient means ‘all-knowing’ and the narrator, in such a
circumstance, can direct the reader’s attention to the inner
thoughts of any of the characters and controls the sources of
• Limited
• What the narrator knows and is restricted to what one central
character can know and see.
• Objective
• It is the most ‘drastic’ third point of view; the narrator disappears
and there is no way of entering the minds of the characters. The
reader is permitted to view the plot only externally, from the
outside. Because its technique resembles drama, this point of
view is often referred to as ‘dramatic’.
Literary Devices
• A simile is a comparison between two things, using like or as.
• Examples: Her smile was so wide it looked like a piano keyboard.
• A metaphor directly compares two unlike things without using like
or as.
• Example: The boy was a golden knight, protecting his little sister
from the fire-breathing dragon that
• Personification assigns human characteristics and traits to non-
human objects.
• Example: The pencil fought furiously with the eraser, battling over
question number three.
• Hyperbole is the use of gross exaggeration to describe something
that could never happen in real life.
• Example: The teacher’s voice was so loud the astronauts orbiting
Earth could hear her lecture.
• Alliteration is the repetition of two or more sounds.
• Example: The witch’s washed-out, withered lips whispered,
“Watch what awaits you at the bewitching hour!” (Alliteration of
the “W” sound)