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Recount Writing

By M. Abdessalami

What did you do last Friday? Recount !


       Common core students are required to be able to write about themselves and about their daily routines fluently and accurately. For example :

       My name is Leila and I am a Moroccan High School student aged 16.
       On Fridays, I usually wake up at 6 O'clock. First, I wash my hands and face. Then, I have breakfast. After that, I pack my school things and get dressed before I go to school.

       The next year, they must be capable of talking about those same routines, but in the past tense.

       Yesterday I woke up at 6 O'clock. First, I washed my hands and face. Then, I had breakfast. After that, I packed my school things and got dressed before I went to school.

       Writing assignments generally aim at testing this skill in different contexts to draw the learners' attention that writing is not mechanical at all. On Sunday for instance, the students have to pay much attention as not to make the fatal (mechanical) mistake writing the sentence, "I go / went to school" because there's no class on the weekends.

Start Recounting!

What did you do last Friday?

       The teacher would ask the learners to write about what each one did last Friday. That's the topic, but she would also choose to provide them with some assistive and directive questions aiming at reminding them of the topic and prompting them to stick to it. The questions guide and assist the learners in organizing their writings better.

       Teachers normally provide these guidance tips for beginners to keep controlling the main idea of the subject. The students are not obliged to answer them mechanically. On the contrary, they can overlook some of them provided that this wouldn't lead them out of point. They have to respect the topic given, which is "Personal activities Last Friday." It is just like writing in a diary, if they keep one.

       However, they shouldn't just forget that they are writing about a past individual experience proper to each one of them only, and they need to share it with the others in a style full of as much suspense as they can. They shouldn't also forget to sometimes use a little humour to alleviate the writing if some of the events recounted seem redundant and almost boring. They certainly know that humour in writing renders it enjoyable and pleasurable. The impact of humour on the reader is magic.

       Writing about past events requires a certain degree of precision in the chronological order of events. The students have to make sure they respect the tense (mostly the past), and use the appropriate linking words showing the exact chronological sequence of events like.

They also have to use linking words such as "because, when, while, before and after" and any other stylistic enrichments to help the reader visualize the events like in a movie.

       The usual piece of writing good students are expected to write looks approximately something like the following,

       Last Friday, I got up early as usual because my class starts at 8 O'clock. First I washed my hands and face. Then I had breakfast: Two glasses of milk, some bread, butter and jam. After that, I got dressed before I left for school. I met up with my classmate, Hicham, and we went to school on foot because school is not far. At school, we studied geography, Philosophy and English.

       At noon, I went with my father to Mosque for the Friday prayer, and when we returned home, I had a siesta after a delicious couscous dish. At about 3 O'clock, I went to the stadium to play football with my team. After the match, I went back home and I had a cold shower. Later, I ate a snack while watching TV. In the evening, I revised my lessons, checked my e-mail box and chatted with some friends on the net for a long time. Finally, I went to bed late and very tired. It was such a busy day!

       For the learners to be a little imaginative and innovative, they have to think out of the box to move to more inspiring creative writings. If they are used to keeping diaries, this kind of writing would just be a piece of cake for them. It is never too late to endeavour to be better and improve one's writing skill by practising.

       Though it is never reachable for hard working people because it is not human, perfection is to constantly be sought and targeted whatsoever it takes. It is true that it is difficult to accomplish that overnight, but one has to try harder unless one is easily satisfied with the meagre production one comes up with thinking it is the top perfection.

       In brief, determined people are always after perfection, and they become so fervently motivated that they always think they are still far off from it, I personally do.

       Well, here is a sample writing for the high school students to take for a model. Generally, the following passage is beyond their capacities as beginners, but it will surely give them a push to think differently but artistically. They'd better learn to always think and start big.


       "Recount Writing" is the area of expertise for most famous authors, writers, playwrights, and storytellers. If it becomes the learners' cup of tea, recount writing will help them surf and conquer the past. Besides, it will help them create its events for the pleasure and ecstasy of the readers.

       They will soon become the masters of fiction provided that they donít dwell there. They have just to recount and quit immediately. The past is not a good place to live in. If a gifted student starts reading and writing a lot, she or he will, in almost no time, become excellent in this type of writing, and one day maybe she or he becomes a great raconteur, who knows?!

"If I waited till I felt like writing, I'd never write at all."
~ Anne Tyler ~

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