Top Level Structures: Sequencing

LI: We are learning that writers use “top-level” structures to organise their writing


  • I am able to name the 5 top level structures

  • I can identify the structures of non-fiction texts

  • I can find the “signal words” in non-fiction texts


Sequence is when the author uses the order of events, or chronology, to inform readers about events or content.

The events may be organised by:

  • time or date
  • arranging events as a series of steps
  • following a list-like structure

Chronological sequencing is commonly used in nonfiction texts.

In fiction text it is also arranged in time-order sequence but signals or markers may not be as clear.

A sequence occurs even if an author uses flashbacks or flash-forwards.

Definition of Flashbacks: when the author makes the reader look back at an event

Definition of Flash forwards: when the author makes the reader look forward  to an event

Signal Words: These words in texts sometimes help us to understand which top level structure it is.

after, afterwards, ago already, always, at last, at that time, at the same time, before, during, eventually, finally, first, first of all, following, further, immediately, initially, in the first place, in the meantime, in that moment, in that instant, last, lastly, later, now, not long after, next, once, presently, second, secondly, sometimes, soon, soon after, subsequently, suddenly, then, to begin with, today, until, while, PLUS: specific time indicators, such as names of days, months or years, times of day, etc.



We are going to look at this example:



Lets practice:

Before applying the screen protector, clean the surface of your phone’s screen with a soft cloth. Once the surface of your screen is clean, remove the paper backing on the screen protector. Evenly apply the sticky side of the screen protector to your phone’s screen. Smooth out any air bubble trapped on between the protector and the phone screen. Enjoy the added protection.