Definition, Generic Structure, and Example of Recount Text

Definition, Generic Structure, and Example of Recount Text

Welcome to my article series, where I will explore recount texts—the kind that lets us share stories and experiences captivatingly. I will explain how these stories are structured and what language tricks make them special. Knowing the basics helps both writers and readers make sense of the tale.

We will look at how recount texts begin by setting the scene, then walk through the events, and finally, resolve. Each part is important. We will also talk about the language stuff, like using the past tense, putting events in order, and painting a picture with words. Happy Reading!

Definition of Recount Text

Hyland (2003: 20) stated that recount text is a text that tells events or something that happened in the past.  The purpose of a recount text, according to Anderson and Kathy (2011:48), is “to list and describe the past experience by retelling events in the order in which they happened (chronological order)”.

In other words, recount text is a text that is written to make a report about an experience of a series of related events. These events are sequenced and completed with characters in a particular time and place set.

Thus, a recount text is a genre of writing that retells events or experiences that have occurred in the past. The primary purpose of a recount is to inform or entertain the audience by presenting a sequence of events in chronological order.

Generic Structure of Recount Text


The opening section provides the background information, such as the setting and introduces the participants in the recounted event. It answers the questions of who, what, when, and where.

According to Derewianka (1990: 15), a recount text typically begins with a direction or orientation that provides the reader with the past knowledge required to comprehend the narrative (who was complicated, where it occurred, and when it occurred).


It is the main body of the text where the writer narrates the series of events chronologically. The events are typically presented logically to maintain coherence and clarity.

Reorientation (optional)

Some recount texts may include a closing section summarizing or reflecting on the events. It is not always present in all recount texts but may be included to provide closure or offer insights gained from the experience.

It summarizes the story by summarizing the results or outcomes,  assessing the topic’s importance,  or providing individual commentary or ideas. It may project into destiny by predicting what will occur next.

Linguistics Features of Recount Text

  1. Past Tense: Recount texts are predominantly written in the past tense since they describe events already occurring.
  2. First-Person Pronouns: Recounts often use first-person pronouns (I, we) since the writer typically recounts their own experiences or observations.
  3. Time Connectives: Words and phrases that indicate the sequence of events are commonly used, such as “first,” “next,” “then,” “after,” and so on.
  4. Conjunctions: Connectives and conjunctions link ideas and events within the text. Examples include “and,” “but,” “so,” and so on.

Example of Recount Text

Title: A Joyful Holiday in Kendari

Orientation  Last holiday, I decided to spend my holiday in Kendari, a picturesque city in Southeast Sulawesi. On a bright Sunday morning, I embarked on my journey at 8:00 AM and arrived at my aunt’s home around 11:00 AM. The warmth of the welcoming sun and the anticipation of meeting my relatives made the journey even more delightful. As I entered my aunt’s house, I was greeted by the familiar faces of my family members, including my cousin, whom I had not seen in quite some time.  
Events  During my stay, I immersed myself in various activities that made my holiday truly memorable. One day, we visited another family home in Kendari, where I had the pleasure of reconnecting with relatives I had not seen in years. The air was filled with laughter and joy as we exchanged stories and shared moments of our lives. Another trip highlight was the movie night with my cousin and niece. We decided to watch a film at the local cinema. One evening, we gathered as a family to enjoy a traditional Sulawesi dish called ‘kapurung.’ The aroma of ‘Kapurung’ filled the air as we sat together, sharing not just a meal but also stories and laughter.  
Reorientation  The laughter echoing through the family home, the heartwarming reunions with relatives, and the shared experiences over a bowl of ‘kapurung’ created a tapestry of memories I will cherish forever.


  • Anderson, M., & Kathy. (2011). Text Types in English. Australia: Macmillan.
  • Derewianka,  B.  (1990). Exploring  How  Texts  Work.  Newton:  Primary  English  Teaching Association.
  • Hyland, K. (2003). Second Language Writing. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Knapp, P., & Watkins, M. (2005). Genre, text, grammar: Technologies for teaching and assessing writing. UNSW Press.
Tenry Colle
Tenry Colle

Hi! My name is A. Tenry Lawangen Aspat Colle. I am a motivated and resourceful English educator. In addition, as the owner of @rymari.translation17 has shaped me to be a punctual and dependable translator of Indonesian to English and vice versa.

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