How to Write a Paper That Includes a Timeline

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Usually, you can explain a series of events within a paper simply by writing about those events in order. However, even if you write very clearly and concisely, you might still have trouble making your reader aware of those events and allowing your reader to fully understand in which order those events occurred. You may need to include a time line in your paper. If you do, there are several ways that you can do this so your paper is written in an easy-to-read manner.

1 Write your paper

Write your paper, including the series of events in a logical manner. If you are talking about events that require a time line, it is a good idea to write your paper in chronological order. Even if you include the time line, you will confuse your readers if you talk about events in a different order from which they actually occurred.

2 Write a footnote

Write a footnote each time you mention an event. The footnote can call the reader's attention to the time line that you will include. The footnote can say "See time line" or "See Attachment" so the reader knows the time exists.

3 Create your time line

Create your time line. This can be a vertical or horizontal time line, and can take any form that you choose. Make a line with the dates on it, and write the name of the event wherever it occurs. Attach the time line to your paper, and ensure that it is accessible for the readers. Some time lines might be placed at the start of the paper, if you have many events that are confusing, and some might be placed at the end. This is up to you.

Terrance Karter has served as a reporter, reviewer and columnist for "The Exponent," as well as a contributor to the "Shelterbelt," both based in northeast South Dakota. Karter holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Northern State University in South Dakota.