Lesson #3 Chronology

The first organizational structure that we study in 027 is chronology. The root of the word chronology, “chronos“, comes from the Greek language and means “time”. So when the ideas expressed in lectures or readings are organized according to time, then we say it is organized by chronology.

The note taking tool we can use when listening to lectures organized this way, is the time line.

time line

Draw a straight line across your page. As your professor lectures about a topic, make sure that you mark each main event with a vertical tick mark across your main line. Write in the associated date or time frame and a few notes about the event and its importance.

At the end of the lecture, you should be able to go back and fill in the details.

Cues for chronology

Remember we said that cues in writing or in speaking allow readers/listeners to follow your ideas as you move from one idea to the next. There are certain cues that tell people that this is organized by time and certain events happen before others. – so they can get the sequence of events in the correct order. Some of the common cues for chronology are:

1.First, second, last
2. Later
3. In a few days,
4. In the year…,
5. After a while
6. In a few days
7. Later in the day,…

8. When “X” happened….
9. Several years later…
10. In the end (or finally)…

Think about how important these cues are… with just the cues in place, you can organize an entire story.

If you began your story with number 4, and then combined 8, 9, 5, and 10, you would have a story! Try it! Add your ideas to the framework below:

In the year_______, I went to…
When I went to…..   , this happened….
Several years later…..
After awhile,……
In the end…….

In the year 1981, I went to Germany to study.
When I went to Germany, my whole life changed because I became interested in other cultures.
Several years later, I started working with ESL students.
After a while, I realized how interesting my life was!
In the end, my life is so much richer because of all of my students!

See how important these cues are (as well as the past tense) for creating a well organized story! In each unit, we’ll use different tools for note taking and cues for organizing your ideas.

Now be sure to study the vocabulary in your book for the unit on chronology. Use the strategies we talked about (vocabulary notebook, flashcards, and writing the words down) to prepare for the exam next week. Listen to the CD as many times as you need to until you understand the lecture.


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