Of all the comments of this glossary, the explanation for “Sequence” is probably the least threatening from your professor.

This is what I did this morning: I woke up. I took a shower. I cooked and ate oatmeal. I watched television. I wrote more explanations for the glossary. I ate again at around noon. I watched television to rest my eyes from the computer. I wrote about two more explanations. At midnight tonight, I will go to bed.

What did this person do “first?” At “noon” what did this person do? What will this person do at “midnight?”

In the above example of a typical day, there isn’t any time marker signifying when something happens. However, by reading the sentences, noticing that the first action that takes place is the waking up and the fact that it is the first sentence in first place, we assume that this sentence represents the first action of the day. We also know by giving attention to the use of the future verb tense “will go” that this action hasn’t taken place yet.

The above example is a clear illustration of sequence without using “first,” “next,” and “then.” Sometimes these words are not necessary, but when you write your papers, do give attention to what happens first, second, and last. If you don’t know what event takes place first in the story, then you will, without thinking, place a “first event” in the middle of other events within your analysis.

If you don’t want to use specific words to tell the reader what happens in sequence, be sure you understand each action, its type, its connection to a character, its connection to other events, and its place (sequence) within the context of the story. Be certain you convey this in your writing. Your reader should leave understanding the chronology and sequence of events of the story.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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