Chronological Order – Constructing a Timeline

When a sequence of events are placed in the order in which they happened, this is called chronological order. When sorting events into chronological order, they should first be grouped by year with the earliest year first. If there are several events for a year then it is necessary to look at the date they happened and place them in date order. If there are several events for the same date and year then the time of the event may be used.

Chronological Order

Here are a list of dates that need to be sorted into chronological order:

10 p.m. 22nd July 1967, 24th September 1931, 5th June 1945, 11th September 1945, 13th February 1956, 3 p.m. 22nd July 1967

First we need to look at the years to find the earliest. 1931 is the earliest year so 24th September 1931 goes first on the timeline.

24th September 1931

Now we need to look for the next year – 1945. There are two dates for 1945, 11th December 1945 and 5th June 1945. Looking at the months, June comes before December so 5th June 1945 is the next entry followed by 11th September 1945.

24th September 1931
5th June 1945
11th September 1945

The next year in order is 1956. There is only one date for that year so 13th February 1956 is added next.

24th September 1931
5th June 1945
11th September 1945
13th February 1956

Our last two dates are for the year 1967. They are both for the same month and day so we need to look at the time each happened. One happened at 10 p.m. while the other happened at 3 p.m. As 3 p.m. is earlier that will be placed before the 10 p.m. event.

24th September 1931
5th June 1945
11th September 1945
13th February 1956
3 p.m. 22nd July 1967
10 p.m. 22nd July 1967

Constructing a Timeline

The dates above represent a chronology, a sequence of dates in time order. A timeline is constructed in the same way but events are added for each date. 

24th September 1931 Born
5th June 1945 Left school
11th September 1945 Started work
13th February 1956 Got married
3 p.m. 22nd July 1967 Involved in a car crash
10 p.m. 22nd July 1967 Died in hospital

Now that events have been added next to the dates, it becomes obvious that this is a timeline of someone’s life. Constructing a timeline therefore is a good way to show important events in a way that makes sense and is easy to understand.

 

Citation Information:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2020). Chronological Order – Constructing a Timeline. Available: https://www.historykeyskills.com/chronological-order-constructing-a-timeline/. Last accessed October 21st, 2020

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