Timelines as Research Tools
by Christine Liu-Perkins
I had underestimated the usefulness of a timeline until I was stuck in a confusing muddle of historical research. In desperation, I created a double timeline—one recording major events in the lives of the family I was writing about, and one recording major events in the early Chinese empire. At last, clarity! I gained many insights that had eluded me before, and what I learned enriched multiple sections of the book. That timeline was definitely worth the effort I invested in constructing it.
Timelines not only condense a lot of information, they also help us see connections and patterns, such as:
Interested in giving timelines a try? You can make your own using Microsoft Word or Powerpoint:
You might also include timelines in your manuscripts, activity guides, and presentations. Teachers often look for timelines and encourage students to make them. Here's some sources for creative examples:
How do you use timelines? Have any tips to share?
5/11/2022 07:19:54 am
I love all your posts, but this is definitely a new tool for me. I always make my timelines text only or on paper with a pencil!
5/11/2022 08:54:37 pm
Wow, thank you, Annette. I hope trying out digital or 3D timelines help with your current projects!
5/11/2022 07:44:00 am
Great post and I now am going to make a timeline with the tools you gave us. I also appreciate the reasons given to use timelines. Sounds great for teacher material, Christine. Thank you.
5/11/2022 08:59:14 pm
Thank you, Kathy. I hope you have fun experimenting with the tools and find timelines useful!
7/26/2022 10:02:55 am
I wish I had created the beautiful and artistic timelines when I was learning about different people and events in history! As a visual learner, this would have helped! Good to remember when creating books for young readers. Thank you!
Leave a Reply.
We are nonfiction authors who support readers and writers through our writing, author visits, and workshops.
Disclaimer: The Nonfiction Ninjas are a group of writers with diverse ideas . The views expressed in each post are those of the author and may differ from others in the group.