Time Sequence in Writing


For EFL learners, writing is one of the most difficult skills. In order to be able to write well, they must practice their writing skills all the time. One thing that must be paid attention is the TIME SEQUENCE.

Time sequence is when you write in a chronological order, where you describe a process/event/happening in some sort of order. This some sort of order is usually BASED ON TIME.

Example of writing with time sequence:

My name is Youlee. I was born in Bandung, on July 17, 1986. I’ve lived in Bandung ever since I was born. In 1990, I went to kindergarten. A year later, in 1991, I started studying in elementary school. In 1997 to 2000, I entered junior high school. Then, I studied in high school until 2003. When I finished high school, I went to college and finished my undergraduate school in 4 years. After that I worked as an English teacher for a year. I quit my job to continue my study to graduate school. I finished my graduate school in one year and a half. Right now, I’m working as an English lecturer at my previous undergraduate school.

To understand more about sequencing, look at this video.

Introduction to Academic Writing

Hello all the beautiful people!

So in this post, I’m going to introduce you to academic writing, especially English academic writing. I’m writing this post simply because lots of my students are not familiar yet with types of academic writing and how to write academically. 

Okay, so this is the outline of what we will be discussing in this post:

1. What Is Academic Writing?
2. Types of Academic Writing
3. What Are Needed for a Good Academic Writing?

1. What Is Academic Writing?

According to this site, academic writing is “the type of writing students are expected to produce in response to content they learn about in an academic setting; i.e. school. It’s how they formally join the ‘scholarly conversation’.” Academic writing is different from creative writing, in that students cannot merely write narrative or descriptive forms inspired by their imaginations. Academic writing suggests that students provide some evidence (data, books, students’ experiences, etc) to support their writings.

2. Types of Academic Writing

Okay, so basically I’m just going to give points to the types of academic writing that teachers may ask their students to compose. Click on the type and you’ll get to the website.

1.   Essays

2.   Reports

3.   Case Studies

4.   Research proposals

5.   Book reviews

6.   Brief research reports

7.   Literature reviews

8.   Reflective writing

9.   Introductions

10. Research methods

11. Research results

12. Research discussions

13. Writing conclusions

14. Research abstracts

15. Research Dissertations & Theses

3. What Are Needed for a Good Academic Writing?

The basic purpose of writing is to make people read the writings. So the writings should be clear and understandable. What are the crucial elements that make a good academic writing?

1. A good, and maybe not so ordinary, idea.

People may at first be interested in reading a trending topic on twitter; but when the topic has gone viral and has been re-tweeted several times, people will get bored of reading it. The same thing happens to academic writing topic. When students have chosen one topic to write, they should brainstorm themselves to get a not-so-common idea from the topic. In other words, find the novelty of the topic.

2. Clear objectives

Take a look at advertisements on TV, or maybe on billboards. Most of the times, the targets of those advertisements can be clearly seen. Advertisers work hard to come up with an idea of the theme for their advertisements, because they want to attract their targets. Similarly, in academic writing, students should know who they are composing the writing to. Students should first know their audience. 

In addition, students should also be clear on the genre and purpose of the writing. Is it to persuade? Is it to describe a process? Is it to give facts?

3. Clear WH-questions

Academic writings are considered well written when they answer the WH-questions. For example, a student wants to write about how the earth was formed. S/he needs to answer questions such as “When was the first formation of the earth?”, “What caused the earth to form?”, What does the earth compose of?”, etc. 

4. Reliable sources

As previously mentioned, when students want to write academically, they must support their writings with evidence. The evidence can be data, experiences, or theories. An academic writing without evidence is similar to a diary.

5. Consistent writing style

When writers use a consistent writing style, readers will acknowledge their work simply from the writing style. There are writers who like to use “I” in their writings; but there are also writers who use a third person to address themselves in their writings.

There are still many elements that make a good academic writing. You may search it on the Internet. This is just a simpler version.

So, that’s all the brief introduction to academic writing. I hope it helps you, especially students who want to write their final papers or a simple argumentative essay.