Choosing an incident
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Choosing an incident

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Choosing an incident

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Choosing an incident

Avoiding summary in narrative writing


Writing about an incident



is something that

happens during

a short period of time (usually less than

five minutes and often as short as a few seconds)

A narrative paragraph should describe


SPECIFIC incident.


Avoid summary in narrative writing



is a short list of incidents without narrative details.

Do not use summary

in narrative writing; it will bore your reader.




The birthday party was fun. We played games.

Sarah gripped the fake donkey tail and staggered towards the target, trying to peek through the seams in her blindfold.

There was a long, boring trial, and the jury finally said the defendant was guilty.

The jury filed in, staring at the snoring defendant and shaking their heads. “What is your verdict?” asked the judge. “Guilty as charged,” said the foreman.


Incident or Summary?

We went to the mall and had a good time shopping. We went to lots of stores and bought necklaces, shoes, and hair bows. We also ate pretzels at Annie’s.


Incident or Summary?

Sports commentary blared in the background as Mimi folded laundry on the bed. “GOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL!” shouted the announcer. Mimi dropped all of the laundry on the floor and ran to the TV to try to catch a replay.



English: First Course


Incident or Summary?

My family and I went to a Melissa Etheridge concert last weekend. Even though she is 50 years old now, the concert hall was full to capacity. We danced to our favorite old songs of hers, and afterwards we lingered by the stage door to try to meet her.


Incident or Summary?

As soon as she heard the baby’s parents shut the front door, Ella peered over the edge of the crib and said, “Well, it’s just you and me for the next fe

w hours

, kid.” The baby looked up and her and his face, formerly all smiles and coos, suddenly began to ball up and turn bright red. He threw open his mouth and began a scream that would last the rest of the night.