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Organising an outline chronologically

Many essays discuss a sequence of events that happened over a period of time. Almost always, the order that events are discussed in the essay should be the same as the order that they happened in real life. When doing the outline for the essay, you’d structure it so that the events were ordered appropriately.

Essay title


1st event or thing to occur

2nd event or thing to occur


Last event or thing to occur


For instance, an essay might discuss the evolution of dinosaurs over the entire time period they were around. The age of the dinosaurs is called the Mesozoic, and can be divided into three major time periods - the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous. The outline therefore, might look like this:

The Age of the Dinosaurs




First primitive dinosaurs


Start of the reign of the dinosaurs

The huge dinosaurs


Most highly evolved dinosaurs



Of course, you can also put subheadings like we’ve done here into the essay outline. In this outline, we have three major topic headlines - one for each of the major time periods, in chronological order. Then, under each major heading, we have subtopics which are relevant to the particular time associated with the major heading. For instance, for the last period of the dinosaurs - the Cretaceous - one of the subheadings is ‘extinction’, which is what happened to the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period.