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What is the difference between a narrative and a descriptive essay?

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jennifer881997 | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted April 14, 2012 at 11:17 AM via web

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What is the difference between a narrative and a descriptive essay?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 14, 2012 at 12:58 PM (Answer #1)

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The distinction between a descriptive and a narrative essay is one grounded in a theory concerning the "modes" of rhetoric that was very popular in the 1950s and 1960s, and is still used in some pedagogical situations.  The four modes are:

Exposition: Explaining an idea or concept.

Argument: Proving a point.

Narrative: Telling a story.

Description: Presenting what is apparent to your senses (describing).

The main difference between narration and description is that narrative involves a sequence of events, extended in time, whereas description may be extended in space but does not necessarily have a temporal sequence.

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