Narrative Representation and Comprehension

Authored by: Arthur Graesser , Jonathan M. Golding , Debra L. Long

Handbook of Reading Research

Print publication date:  March  2016
Online publication date:  April  1996

Print ISBN: 9781138834262
eBook ISBN: 9780203447772
Adobe ISBN: 9781136610745

10.4324/9780203447772.ch8

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Abstract

When people engage in conversations and interact socially, they frequently convey narratives of interesting experiences. These narratives refer to event sequences that either the speaker experienced, another person experienced, or a fictitious character would experience. Listeners want to know what happened (the plot) and why it is important (the point). Narratives are designed to satisfy a number of communicative objectives such as making a point, entertaining the listeners, griping, provoking an argument, or preventing embarrassing silences. In contrast, conversations are rarely sustained by definitions, comparison/contrasts, logical arguments, and other forms of expository discourse.

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