Introduction to Narrative Theory

Narrative refers to the techniques writers use to organise their stories into a clear and satisfying form which will appeal to the audience. This involves editing and sequencing events into a coherent structure. Writers also have to make decisions regarding how characters will be portrayed.

Even non-fiction texts are influenced by the author’s intentions. In this way, all media texts are a constructed version of reality.

The way a narrative is presented has the power to influence the audience’s point of view towards people and places. Journalists control the information in their reports and articles, choosing which details to include and which details to leave out. Our interpretation of a scene is shaped by where the photographer places their camera in relation to the subject matter. And content creators on YouTube use a range of narrative strategies, such as shock tactics and enigma codes, to hook us into watching the rest of their videos.

Put simply, narrative codes are entertaining and help us make sense of the world.

Narrative Guides

Exam Practice


Applying the various approaches to narrative to a range of media texts will help develop your understanding of the key concepts and theories. The following examples will get you started.