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ANECDOTE

Purpose:

  1. To share with others an account of an unusual or amusing incident.
  2. Anecdote usually deals with something unexpected or out of the ordinary.

Generic Structure:

  1. ABSTRACT        : signals the retelling of an unusual incident
  2. ORIENTATION  : sets the scene (when  and where)
  3. CRISIS                : provides details of the unusual incident
  4. REACTION        : reaction to crisis
  5. CODA (optional) : reflection on or evaluation of the incident

Language Features:

  1. Use of material processes/action verbs to tell what happened
  2. Use of exclamations (e.g. ‘guess what?!’ ; ‘I couldn’t believe it!’)
  3. Use of intensifiers (e.g. ‘really?!’; ‘very amazing’)
  4. Use of temporal conjunctions (e.g. and, then)

 

The example of Anecdote:

SNAKE IN THE BATHROOM

Abstract

How would you like to find a snake in your bath? A nasty one too!

Orientation
We had just moved into a new house, which had been empty for so long that everything was in a terrible mess. Anna and I decided we would clean the bath first, so we set to, and turned on the tap.

Crisis

Suddenly to my horror, a snake’s head appeared in the plug-hole. Then out slithered the rest of his long thin body. He twisted and turned on the slippery bottom of the bath, spitting and hissing at us.

Incident
For an instant I stood there quite paralysed. Then I yelled for my husband, who luckily came running and killed the snake with the handle of a broom. Anna, who was only three at the time, was quite interested in the whole business. Indeed I had to pull her out of the way or she’d probably have leant over the bath to get a better look!

Coda

We found out later that it was a black mamba, a poisonous kind of snake. It had obviously been fast asleep, curled up at the bottom of the nice warm water-pipe. It must have had an awful shock when the cold water came trickling down! But nothing to the shock I got! Ever since then I’ve always put the plug in firmly before running the bath water.

PLUMBER

Mr. Brown was very good at fixing things around the house when they broke. One day he went to another city to do some works there, and his wife was alone in the house.

While Mr. Brown was away, one of the faucets on the bathtub broke. Mrs. Brown didn’t know much about fixing broken faucets, so she telephoned a plumber.

 The plumber came to the house that afternoon and fixed the faucet in a few minutes. When he finished, he gave Mrs. Brown his bill for the work.

She looked at it for several seconds and then said, “Your prices are very high, aren’t they? Do you know, the doctor costs less than this when he comes to the house?”

 Yes, I know,” answered the plumber. “I know that very well, because I was a doctor until I was lucky enough to find this job a few months ago.”
 

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