Classic Story Form, and How It Applies to the “My Test” Assignment

A graphic of classic plot form:

Exposition is where the storyteller sets the stage for the drama to follow. Who is this story about? What is his/her challenge — in your case, test? What’s at stake in meeting the challenge — or, why does it matter?

Rising action: a chain of events, each raising questions about what will happen next.

Climax: a central turning point — in your case, the moment when you either pass or fail your test. There can be other, more minor turning points before this.

Falling action: What do you do once you’ve passed or failed?

Resolution: You show or tell (or both) how you’ve changed.

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About Lisa Phillips

I am an assistant professor of journalism at SUNY New Paltz and the author of Unrequited: Women and Romantic Obsession (HarperCollins, 2015) and Public Radio: Behind the Voices.
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