Organizing Instructions Into a Proper Sequence

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: How to Find Cause and Effect in a Reading Selection

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Sequencing as a Text Structure
  • 0:35 Chronology vs Sequence
  • 2:13 Sample Passage
  • 5:13 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

One of the text structures that authors often choose when giving instructions is sequential order. In this lesson, we will examine this text structure and discuss strategies for putting sentences in the proper sequence.

Sequencing as a Text Structure

Think about the steps involved in baking a cake. What would happen if you changed the order? There's a reason the recipe says to preheat the oven before mixing the batter. Sequence matters, and sequencing is putting the steps in a process in order from beginning to end. It's an important skill, not only for reading comprehension, but is also used in other content areas, such as math, science, and social studies. Let's examine some sequence structures that will help you organize instructions in a passage.

Chronology vs Sequence

A common error with putting things in sequential order is assuming that it's the same as putting things in chronological order. Chronology has to do with the time that something happens. For example, on the Titanic's maiden voyage, this is the chronology:

Chronology of the Sinking of the Titanic

  • April 14, 11:40 PM, the Titanic strikes an iceberg.
  • April 15, 12:05 AM, Captain Smith orders the crew to prepare the lifeboats.
  • April 15, 12:45 AM, the first lifeboat is launched.
  • April 15, 2:20 AM, the Titanic sinks.
  • April 15, 4:10 AM, the Carpathia picks up the first lifeboat.

The chronology describes the order of events at a particular time and setting. Baking a cake is a sequence of events because it doesn't matter when or where you start; the order of the process will remain the same. For example, here is the sequence of making a cake:

Sequence of Baking a Cake

  1. Preheat the oven.
  2. Lightly grease the pan.
  3. Mix the ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Pour the batter in the pan.
  5. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.

Whether you make the cake now or wait until your birthday, the sequence is consistent. Sequencing is the text structure that is generally used when the author is giving instructions. Signal words that you will often see when things are put in sequential order include: first, next, before, lastly, finally, and then.

Sample Passage

To illustrate the importance of sequence, let's read the following passage.

How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Then, you'll use a butter knife to spread approximately 2 tablespoons of peanut butter evenly across the top of one of the slices of bread. The next step will be to spread approximately 1 tablespoon of jelly evenly across the top of the other slice of bread. The first step to making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is to go to the store to purchase bread, peanut butter, and jelly. Next, you'll remove two pieces of bread and place them side-by-side on a plate. Finally, you'll place the slice of bread that's covered with peanut butter upside-down on top of the slice of bread that's covered with jelly so that the peanut butter and jelly are facing each other.

While all of the steps are in place, this passage doesn't make a lot of sense. To put it back in the proper order, let's look for some transition words. The first sentence will be the one that begins with 'The first step…'

1. The first step to making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is to go to the store to purchase bread, peanut butter, and jelly.

It's also pretty easy to find the final sentence in the sequence because it begins with the transition word 'Finally.'

To unlock this lesson you must be a www.heiqigong.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use www.heiqigong.com

Become a www.heiqigong.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about www.heiqigong.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? www.heiqigong.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support 福建福彩网 天水市 永康市 成都市 商洛市 大庆市 镇江市 临夏市 阜新市 巴中市 萍乡市 崇州市 邓州市 平度市 河津市 台中市 衡水市 明光市 凤城市 吉林省 石首市 龙海市 黄石市 叶城市 都匀市 武穴市 朝阳市 青岛市 凤城市 葫芦岛市 仙桃市 合肥市 孝感市 邢台市 兴城市 平度市 利川市 洮南市 信阳市 常州市 宁国市 南阳市 徐州市 北宁市 邢台市 鹿泉市 池州市 北宁市 台中市 华阴市 延吉市 铁力市 兴城市 淮安市 汉川市 东阳市 焦作市 西安市 佛山市 潍坊市 甘肃省