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Aspects of Narrative | A Guide to Narrative

Steve Campsall | Tuesday October 09, 2012

Categories: Archived Resources, KS5 Archive, AQA A Level, AQA A Level Pre-2015 Resources, AQA A Level English Literature B, LITB1, Hot Entries, Narrative, Analysing Narrative, Aspects of Narrative, Narrative Techniques, Writing, Analytical Writing, Literary Analysis


Guide Navigation

  1. Introduction
  2. A Critical Vocabulary
  3. Tips for Improving Exam Grades
  4. Guide to Narrative: Narrative Frameworks
  5. Guide to Narrative: Narrative Concepts
  6. Focalisation and Diegesis
  7. Mimesis
  8. Narrative Forms and Structures
  9. Help with Exam Revision
  10. Analysis of Cousin Kate, poem by Christina Rossetti


Storytelling is often associated with childhood or novels – and yet, as a means of communicating thoughts, ideas and feelings, it has been a feature of human society perhaps since language was first used.  Its importance as a central aspect of human life is why AQA, for example, has chosen to make the study of ‘narrative’ a whole AS unit, LITB1; however, knowing how to analyse novels and short stories at the levels of form, structure and language is an essential aspect of all English course, so whichever examination board your school uses, whether AQA, OCR, WJEC or Edexcel, this guide will be useful. If you are not studying the LITB1 unit, you’ll need to ignore the first sections of the guide as these are focused on the Assessment Objectives of the AQA AS unit.

During your GCSE years you will have studied ‘persuasive writing’ – and you might have learned that including an ‘anecdote’ can be a very persuasive device to use. Well, an anecdote is no more than a story taken from real life – it is a form of narrative. It could be argued that narrative, as a form and structure, is perhaps most persuasive form of all communication we have so far invented. This is because when we tell, hear or read a story, whether it be real-life or imagined fiction, then our emotions rapidly become involved, identifying characters as ‘hero figures’ to some degree, or ‘villain figures’, and wanting to hear or read how the main character - the narrative’s protagonist - overcomes some kind of problem or other that has caused a conflict in his or her life. Whether we enjoy reading novels, the fact is that we all love; each day of...

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