Time order words signal the order in which events happen. They allow readers to understand a sequence of events. For example, "First, we measured the perfume into the beaker. Following that, we poured it into its designated bottle. Finally, we labeled the bottle for display."
Time order words can be placed anywhere in a sentence. Their most popular placement is at the start of a paragraph. When they come at the start of a sentence of paragraph, they're typically followed by a comma. For example, "In conclusion, the final product was spectacular," or, "Consequently, it went on to become an international bestseller."
Here are some time order words to consider for your next piece of writing:
From time to time
In the end
In the past
At the onset
At the beginning
To begin with
Some of the time
At the end
At the outset
Every so often
Before all else
Until that time
In the first place
Every now and then
In the long run
To start with
At long last
Sequence words have a related function to transition words. Time and transition words prevent our writing from sounding stilted or choppy. They sew our lines and paragraphs together, making our writing flow smoothly. For more on that, here are some examples of transitional words and phrases.
Ready to see these time order words in action? Examining them within the context of a sentence may show just how powerful they can be.
- Earlier, I thought I saw you sitting in the courtyard.
- Consequently, I ran down the stairs to find you.
- In the end, it wasn't meant to be.
- She was writing a book but, preceding that, she was practicing law.
- She was very happy, at the beginning, until she wasn't.
- I find that, every so often, we could be happy if we practiced gratitude.
- Ultimately, life is what we make of it.
- Now we are free, at last.
- At the onset, my horse was trotting along happily.
- Periodically, he'd stop to pick a berry off a tree.
- At long last, we arrived at the castle.
- Every now and then, I find myself dreaming about those soft, golden fields.
At the onset of this article, we wanted to make it clear that time order words develop a natural pattern in our writing that aids readers in their journey. Every so often, it's wise to include these words in your academic writing. It'll tie your paragraphs together with concision and ease.
Ultimately, it's up to you where and when to place them. But, in the long run, we know you'll be a tremendous success. If you'd like to have some fun and translate your transitions into a short story, enjoy Get Creative: How to Write a Short Story.