Reading & Writing in Chronological Order

Much of the reading and writing you'll do occurs in chronological order. This means that the events in a story happen in order from beginning to end. Writing in chronological order helps the reader follow what is happening in a story. For example, if a woman in a story wants to prepare for an exam, she will first go to class, then study, then take the exam. These events all happen in an order the reader knows. In this section you will learn how to use context clues, prediction, and our prior knowledge to help figure out the chronological order of a reading.

  • Context Clues: Look at a reading and see what words are used. Nouns and pronouns can be context clues that help you see the order of sentences. As you learned in Unit 1, a noun needs to be defined before a pronoun can be used. Take this sentence for example: Anna needed to pick up the car before noon, so she hurried to finish her work. Anna needs to come first to tell us who "she" and "her" refers to. If you see a pronoun in a reading, make sure the noun it refers to comes first.
  • Prediction: Use the predicting skills you practice in Unit 2 to help understand chronological order. Using the earlier example, if a reading tells us Anna needs to go to work in the morning and pick up the car by noon, we know work will come first and the car will come second.
  • Prior Knowledge: Think about what you already know about an event. In Unit 4 you’ll write about your daily routine. You already know how most people will order their day: first wake up, second eat breakfast, third go to work or school, and so on. By thinking through the order as you already know it, you can understand the chronological order of events in a reading.

Sometimes a reading will use reverse chronological order, or go backwards. If you already know the chronological order that should occur you’ll have an easier time understanding the reading. Knowing the usual chronological order of events is also helpful if a reading jumps around, or moves out of order. When we understand the order things usually occur we can better comprehend, or understand, a reading.

In our own writing we can often assume that the reader will know the correct chronological order of our events. If we jump around too much, we could confuse the reader and make our writing hard to understand. By thinking through the events we want to use and what order describes them the best, we can help our reader follow our writing easily.

Source: Saylor Academy
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Last modified: Monday, August 24, 2020, 8:10 PM