Organize your events and actions in chronological order.
To create a Chronology:
Step 1: Begin writing down your events and actions, and their respective dates, on an informal list . You can start by picking events and actions from your Factors. Keep adding to this preliminary list as you research your problem.
Step 2: Once you've got all of your factors identified and organized, create a new table with three columns: 'Date', 'Name of Event/Action', and 'Description of Event/Action' (see diagram below).
Step 3: Take the items from your preliminary list, in Step 1 above, and sort them in the order in which they occurred, are occurring, or will occur.
Step 4: Enter your events and actions in chronological order into your new table.
Analysis of your Chronology can help you:
- Show the timing and sequence of relevant events.
- Call attention to key events.
- Identify significant gaps.
- See patterns and trends.
- Show relationships among events.
- Add context to better understand your events and actions.
Here's a diagram of our Chronology Form:
Another variation of the chronology is called a “placement”. In this special form, items are listed from two viewpoints: public description and private details. The concept here is to gain insights from comparing the differences as seen from external and internal points-of-view.
The Thinker’s Toolkit, Morgan D. Jones, New York: Three Rivers Press, 1995.
Thinking in Time, Richard Neustadt and Ernest May, New York: The Free Press, 1986.