Study S1 English English - Paper 1 Skills (Continuous Writing) - Personal Recount Essay 2 (Combined with part 1) - Geniebook

Continuous Writing: Personal Recount

In this article, we will be talking about continuous writing. Some aspects that will be covered include structure, language features and vocabulary. We will be using a model essay to show how to write a composition. First, let’s take a look at the personal recount essay genre.

 

What is a Personal Recount?

  1. A personal recount is a description of an event or experience that you went through
  2. It is usually told as a narrative (story)
  3. You have to use the first-person point of view: The narrator tells the story from his or her point of view and refers to himself or herself as ‘I’

 

Organisational Structure

The organisational structure of a story or narrative consists of the following elements:

  1. Introduction (What is the setting? / Who are the characters involved?)
  2. Rising action (Introduce what the problem is?)
  3. Climax (Turning point/ What happened before the problem was solved?)
  4. Falling action (How was the problem solved?)
  5. Conclusion (Moral of the story / What has the narrator learnt?)

 

Language Features

While writing an essay, you should always keep the following points in mind:

  1. Use of first-person pronouns: I, me, myself, mine, my, we, us, ourselves, ours, our
  2. Use of simple past tense
  3. Use of connectors. Connectors are words such as however, furthermore, then etc. and are used to give flow. Sometimes these are also used to show cause and effect
  4. Use of adverbs and adjectives to add a description
  5. Use of figurative language. Figurative language refers to metaphors, similes, idioms and personification.

 

Assessment Criterion for Content

 

Band

Marks

Band Descriptors for Content

5

9 - 10

All aspects of the task are fully addressed & developed in detail

4

7 - 8

All aspects of the task are addressed with some development

3

5 - 6

Some aspects of the task are addressed with some development

2

3 - 4

Some aspects of the task are addressed

1

1 - 2

Some attempts to address the task

0

0

No creditable response

 

Assessment Criteria for Language

  • Organisation of ideas
  • Clarity of expression
  • Accuracy of language

 

Band

Marks

Band Descriptors for Content

5

17 - 20

  • Coherent & cohesive presentation of ideas across the whole of the response
  • Effective use of ambitious vocabulary and grammar structures
  • Complex vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and spelling used accurately

4

13 - 16

  • Coherent presentation of ideas with some cohesion between paragraphs
  • Vocabulary and grammar structures are sufficiently varied to convey shades of meaning
  • Vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and spelling are used mostly accurately

3

9 - 12

  • Most ideas are coherently presented with some cohesion within paragraphs
  • Vocabulary and grammar structures sufficiently varied to convey the intended meaning
  • Vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and spelling are often used accurately

2

5 - 8

  • Some ideas are coherently presented with attempts at achieving cohesion
  • Mostly simple vocabulary and grammar structures are used; the meaning is usually clear
  • Vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and spelling used with varying degrees of accuracy

1

1 - 4

  • Ideas presented in isolation
  • Simple vocabulary and grammar structures used
  • A few examples of correct use of vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and spelling

0

0

No credible response

 

Practice Questions

 

Question 1: 

“Come on! Just one more game!” Daniel yelled. His voice permeate through the gentle breeze, its shrillness almost broke through the peaceful blue sky. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in sight. Just the way we liked it.

Sunday afternoons were reserved just for this - amateur baseball games between me and my cousin, Daniel. We were born just days apart from one another, and our parents raised us together like twins. Since we were on the same junior baseball team in primary school, we decided to practise every weekend in the small yard behind his house.

Choose the correct form of the underlined word.

 

  1. had been permeating
  2. permeates
  3. permeated
  4. permeating

 

Answer:

(3) - permeated

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (3) - "permeated". As we have read in the language features we should use simple past tense for your personal recounts. Option (1) is past perfect tense, option (2) is present tense and option (4) is present continuous tense.

 

 

Question 2:

“Come on! Just one more game!” Daniel yelled. His voice permeated through the gentle breeze, its shrillness almost broke through the peaceful blue sky. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in sight. Just the way we liked it.

Sunday afternoons were reserved just for this - amateur baseball games between me and my cousin, Daniel. We were born just days apart from one another, and our parents raised us together like twins. Since we were on the same junior baseball team in primary school, we decided to practise every weekend in the small yard behind his house.

What is the setting of this personal recount?

 

  1. A baseball practice in the narrator’s backyard
  2. A baseball practice in Daniel’s backyard
  3. A baseball practice in the junior baseball team
  4. A baseball practice 

 

Answer:

(2) - A baseball practice in Daniel's backyard

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (2) - "A baseball practice in Daniel's backyard". The clue here is in the last sentence of the essay. The last sentence tells us that they decided to practice every weekend in the small yard behind his house. He indicates Daniel while behind indicates the backyard. So, the correct answer is option (2). Option (1) is incorrect as it is not the narrator's backyard. You should always remember that the narrator in a personal recount is you.

 

 

Question 3:

“Just one more swing!” begged Daniel, being the younger one - even if for only a few days - was always the most excitable one. “I just want to catch the ball once.”

I chuckled at his insistence. Sure Dan. I nodded to acknowledge his earnest request __________ taking a ready stance at the batting tee, the bat hovering slightly over my shoulder. I practised a hit before swinging the bat straight at the ball, aiming it to the left of Daniel’s body so he would not be able to catch it so easily. The ball popped off the tee with a chirpy ‘ping!’ sound, and I dropped the bat before running towards first base.

Choose the correct connector for the blank above. 

 

  1. until
  2. then
  3. before
  4. and

 

Answer:

(3) - before

Explanation: The correct answer to this question is option (3) - “before”. 

 

 

Question 4:

I shrugged at Daniel’s rhetorical question. There’s no specific reason why I am better at baseball than Daniel. I just am.

“I want to bat for a change,” Daniel declared as he picked up the bat for himself. “I doubt you’re as good at catching. I feel like I’d win this time.”

What is a rhetorical question?

 

  1. A difficult question
  2. A question that should not be answered
  3. A question asked in order to make a point rather than to get an answer
  4. A philosophical question

 

Answer:

(3) - A question asked in order to make a point rather than to get an answer

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (3) - "A question asked in order to make a point rather than to get an answer". A rhetorical question is a question, which is asked to create an effect or make a point and to make the reader think about a particular situation.

 

 

Question 5:

“Ready?” he yelled. I nodded, and he swung the bat with almost demonic intensity, missing the ball completely and hitting the tee instead. I burst out laughing as the tee toppled over and the ball lethargically bobbled a few paces on the grass.

“What’s so funny?” he huffed and puffed, scramble to erect the stand again. “Just because you’re 70 hours older doesn’t mean you get to laugh at me!”

Choose the correct form of the underlined word.

 

  1. scrambles
  2. had scrambled
  3. scrambled
  4. scrambling

 

Answer:

(4) - scrambling

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (4) - "scrambling". As we have learnt that your primary action will always be in the simple past tense, but sometimes there is a need to include secondary actions and these secondary actions are usually happening while the main action is happening. In this essay, the primary action is huffed and puffed which will be in the past tense and scramble which is the secondary action will be in the continuous tense or happening at the same time as the main action.

 

 

Narrative Structure

You should keep in mind the following components while drafting a narrative story.

1. Introduction

  • Setting: The location of a narrative in time and space. Setting creates mood and atmosphere
  • Characters: A person, animal or anything with a personality that appears in a narrative

2. Rising action: What is the conflict or problem? What is the protagonist struggling with? How and/or why did it start?

3. Climax: Turning point. The most intense moment in the narrative

4. Falling action: What happened after the problem was solved?

5. Conclusion: What did the protagonist learn from the experience? Moral of the story

 

Practice Questions

 

Question 1:

Sitting in the back of my parents’ car, I sighed again for the umpteenth time, rolling the tangerines on the empty seats to pass time on this boring journey to my eldest uncle’s house. To me, Chinese New Year was not festive at all. It was an evening of small talk and forced smiles. An evening where every move needs to be calculated and everything has to be in place. I shuddered to think how suffocating our family dinner was going to be.

What do the bolded words (line 3) emphasise about the narrator’s opinion on the family dinner?

 

(A) Everyone is compelled to engage with one another.

(B) The interactions that occur are natural.

(C) The family dinner is contrived. 

(D) Everyone is eager to engage with one another. 

 

Choose one of these options.

 

  1. A & B
  2. A & C
  3. B & C
  4. B & D

 

Answer:

(2) - A & C

Explanation: 

The correct answer to this question is option (2) - “A & C”. Statements (B) & (D) are incorrect as the interactions are not natural and everyone is not eager to engage with one another. We can easily figure this out using the statement “It was an evening of small talk and forced smiles” in the passage.

 

 

Question 2:

“Nancy, stop that!” my mother whipped her head around to snap at me, “Don’t play with food!” Whatever. I picked them back up just to appease her. Why was she such a wet blanket? What was the big deal? What was her problem? I absent-mindedly peeled the tangerines as I simply had to do something to kill time. My mother droned on, “And Nancy, don’t forget to greet the elders later, especially Grandma, who just came back from Australia.”

What is a ‘wet blanket’ (line 3)?

 

  1. A person who stops other people from enjoying themselves.
  2. A blanket that is soaked with water.
  3. A person who is always scolding others.
  4. A person who is always worried about something. 

 

Answer:

(1) - A person who stops other people from enjoying themselves

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (1) - “A person who stops other people from enjoying themselves”. This is an example of figurative language as this is a saying or standard phrase.

 

 

Question 3:

“Nancy! You’re supposed to present those to Grandma, not eat them!” I could hear the exasperation in my mother’s voice. We finally reached my uncle’s place. Grandma was already there, a picture of elegance in her cheongsam, hair neatly pinned up in a bun. It was the first time in a long while that I had seen my Grandma, and she was nothing like the ‘spunky foreigner’ that I had imagined. She nodded as we walked in, eyes sweeping up and down as if carefully appraising us. As her eyes moved past my outfit, there was a slight furrow in her brow. Perhaps she disapproved of my casual all-black ensemble. But who cares? This is a free country.

What do the words in bold (lines 5-6) emphasise about Grandma?

 

  1. She was greeting everyone respectfully.
  2. She was evaluating the narrator and her parents, to assess them.
  3. She was judging the narrator and her parents, to reprimand them.
  4. She was examining the narrator and her parents, to form an opinion about them.

 

Answer:

(4) - She was examining the narrator and her parents, to form an opinion about them

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (4) - “She was examining the narrator and her parents, to form an opinion about them”. The grandma was evaluating and assessing them. When you evaluate and assess someone, you do that to form an opinion about the person or judge someone.

 

 

Test Your Concepts

Answer the following questions based on the concepts we’ve covered in this article. If you get stuck, revisit the relevant section to revise the concepts.

 

Question 1:

Much to Daniel’s horror, the ball whizzed by him, much too fast for him to react. “Hey!” he yelled, running after the ball. I took the opportunity to run at breakneck speed, touching first, then second, and reach third base just as he came jogging back with the ball. Dropping to a slide, I scraped past the home plate just as he attempted to tap me out. I laughed heartily, watching as he looked at me, mouth agape. He could not believe that he had lost again.

“You didn’t even give me a chance!” Daniel whined loudly as he shrugged off his glove in frustration. “You know I’m not as good as you are at baseball.”

Choose the correct form of the underlined word.

 

  1. Reaches
  2. Had reached
  3. Reaching
  4. Reached 

 

 

Question 2:

“You could be, if only you practised as hard as I did!” I smiled in jest.

“We started training at the same time. We’re the same age even! How are you so much better than me?” he __________. “It’s like I shouldn’t even try. How could it be that every time you batted today, I couldn’t catch it?”

Choose the best word for the blank above.

 

  1. pouted
  2. cried
  3. screamed
  4. said

 

 

Question 3:

“Okay... if you think so,” I said slowly while donning the glove. “Just control your swings, yeah?”

He scoffed, “What do I look like, seven? You bet that I can control my swings alright!” He readied the bat and steadied himself, adjusting to the new weight. I placed the ball on the tee for him and jogged over to the catcher’s position. Daniel has never been as good at batting than at catching. Oh well, whatever floats his boat during practice. 

What is the meaning of ‘floats his boat’?

 

  1. Makes him sail smoothly
  2. Makes him happy
  3. Makes his boat works
  4. Makes him agreeable 

 

 

Question 4:

“I’m not!” I laughed.

Daniel glared daggers at me. Okay, so what if I was? Hitting the tee was objectively a rookie mistake. “I wouldn’t laugh if you had actually hit the ball,” I muttered under my breath, but the damage was done. Daniel had heard. I watched as his fists clenched around the bat and he breathed shake.

Choose the correct form of the underlined word.

 

  1. shakes
  2. shakily
  3. shaking
  4. shook 

 

 

Question 5:

“Yes, make sure Grandma and the elders eat first before you dig in,” my father chimed in from the driver’s seat. “Yeah sure,” I murmured, right before tossing a slice of tangerine into my mouth. “Don’t cross your chopsticks,” my mother continued. “Never speak with your mouth full,” my father cautioned. “And always mind your table manners!” my mother forewarned.

What is the effect of the consecutive statements from both the narrator’s parents?

 

  1. It emphasises that the narrator will remember her parents’ advice.
  2. It emphasises that the statements are important.
  3. It emphasises that the narrator's parents are bombarding her with reminders.
  4. It emphasises that the narrator is listening to them.

 

 

Question 6:

"Okay I know, I know! You guys have told me all those things many times already. Stop being such a windbag!" I held my arms up defensively before they could nag some more. Between mouthfuls of tangerine with sweet juice dribbling down my chin and staining my black baggy shirt, I quipped, "Grandma's from Australia? I bet she's a spunky old lady. She probably won't mind me talking with my mouth full-," I was midway through my sentence when I was caught off guard by my mother's sudden slap on my shoulder.

Which part of the narrative structure do these lines convey?

 

  1. Rising action
  2. Climax
  3. Falling action
  4. Conclusion

 

Question 7:

“Go on Nancy, what are you supposed to do for Grandma?” prompted my father. Grabbing the tangerines, I rolled my eyes and dragged my feet to present Grandma with the customary gift. “May you... live a… um, long and healthy life,” I stumbled over the New Year greeting.

What does the word ‘stumbled’ (line 4) tell you about how the narrator spoke to her Grandma?

 

  1. She was being rather rude to her Grandma.
  2. She was unsure of what to say to her Grandma.
  3. She was speaking too quickly to her Grandma. 
  4. She was speaking too casually to her Grandma.

 

 

Question 8:

“Study well and ace your exams,” Grandma replied flatly, pushing a red packet into my hands, and I thanked her stiffly. It was the thickest red packet I had ever received; I felt sure that it held a lot of money. Bursting with excitement, I ripped the red packet open right there and then without thinking. She gave me fifty dollars! When I looked up, there was a look of shock and disgust on Grandma’s face. I cleared my throat awkwardly and scampered away. By the time reunion dinner was served, I was both hungry and bored. I decided to amuse myself by tapping the chopsticks on the various plates and bowls. 

What does ‘scampered’ (line 6) tell you about the way the narrator moved away?

 

  1. She was moving away slowly.
  2. She was moving away quietly.
  3. She was moving away hastily.
  4. She was moving away in fear.

 

 

Question 9:

“Behave yourself at the dinner table!” my mother hissed under her breath. Yet, I was not remorseful. Why was she so uptight over cutlery? Table manners were overrated. The main point of a big reunion dinner was to binge on scrumptious festive dishes, not to be stuffy. When I had eaten my fill, I stuck both my chopsticks into whatever rice I had leftover. And then the whole table froze, and for a moment, there was complete silence. Then came the sound of glass on wood, and Grandma stood up after violently slamming her glass on the table.

What does ‘overrated’ (line 3) mean?

 

  1. valued too highly
  2. valued without reason
  3. too popular
  4. too common
Continue Learning
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Comprehension Skills (Inferential Questions)
Continuous Writing: Personal Recount Continuous Writing - Expository
Comprehension Skills (IYOW Questions) Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) - Dialogue Questions
Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) - Summary Writing Skills Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) - Flowchart Questions
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Unusual & Effective Questions Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) Direct Questions
Editing Comprehension Skills - Referencing Questions
Comprehension Skills - Direct Recall Of Relevant Material, Paraphrasing Text 2 Skills: Literacy Devices
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Literary Devices Irony
Summary Writing Situational Writing - Formal Letter of Complaint
Comprehension Skills - Language Arts Comprehension Skills - Vocabulary-based Questions
Comprehension Skills - Identifying Relevant Linguistic Expression Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Technique-Based Questions
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Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) - Summary Writing Skills
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Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) Direct Questions
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Comprehension Skills - Direct Recall Of Relevant Material, Paraphrasing
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Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Literary Devices
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Situational Writing - Formal Letter of Complaint
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