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Snap Language

Getting Smarter through Language

Modes of Organization
Chronological Order Mode of Organization

Chronological Order Mode of Organization

Chronological Order is a mode of organization where the information is presented in the order of time or sequence. It refers to the arrangement of events, ideas, or steps in the order in which they occurred or should be followed.


Topics or ideas that call for the chronological order mode of organization are those that can be put on a timeline including, for example, “how an experiment was conducted,” “the evolution of smartphones over the years,” “the life cycle of butterflies,” “timeline of the industrial revolution,” or “the history of space exploration.”

Types of Text Using the Chronological Order Mode

The chronological order mode is an effective way to organize information that follow a timeline or happens over time as a sequence of events. It is found in written materials such as autobiographies or historical accounts, news articles, and non-fiction books and essays.

Transition Words Used in the Chronological Order Mode

Transitions commonly used in the chronological order mode include:

  • First, second, at that moment, then, next: These words are commonly used to signal the beginning of a point in a sequence in time.
  • Meanwhile, at the same time: These words and expressions signal events occurring at the same time as another.
  • Next, afterward, then, at that point: These words and expressions signal the event following a previous one in the sequence over time.
  • Before, before that, prior to: These words and expressions signal a point in time preceding another along the timeline.
  • Verb tenses are also used to place events on a timeline (e.g., when X happened, Y had already happened).

Example chronological order mode of organization

The following news article reports on President Ecks’s busy morning using the chronological order mode of organization:

Washington D.C. - President Ecks was on a tight schedule filled with back-to-back meetings and appointments this morning. At 8:00 am the President held his daily intelligence briefing at the Oval Office. The briefing lasted for an hour, and the President discussed current affairs and national security concerns with his advisors. At 9:15 am, the President met with the Secretary of State to discuss the ongoing diplomatic talks with China. The meeting lasted for an hour, and the President and the Secretary of State reviewed the latest updates from the U.S. delegation in Beijing. At 11:00 am, the President hosted a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to discuss the military's readiness and capabilities. No further details were disclosed about the meeting due to national security concerns.

Note. The above paragraph is used for instructional purposes only. Search the topic for accurate information on it.

Note for Readers

When you read, it is important to identify the mode of organization as chronological because it focuses your reading and improves comprehension.

Pay close attention to the order of events, which may include causes and effects over time.

If you are taking notes, a good way to summarize all events in time order is to create a timeline as you read. You timeline can include both what happens when and important details that clarify each event.

Up Next: Emphatic Mode

Continue the lesson to learn about the emphatic or order-of-importance mode of organization.