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ENG 208: Womanism/Feminism

A guide for students studying womanism or feminism and literature.

Tools For Creating an Interactive Timeline

Ah...the familiar PowerPoint. The linear nature of PowerPoint slides make them a suitable way to present a timeline about a topic, issue, or series of events. Each slide can be made to represent a specific event, or point on your timeline. 


  • Familiar
  • Lots of design + customization tools
  • Slide layout


  • Constrained to the slide format
  • Not as dynamic for sharing online
  • Not designed for embedding other content


You can use the online version of PowerPoint by signing into your campus email, and accessing the app launcher 'waffle" in the upper left of your screen. 

Collaborating: Easily share a PowerPoint with other editors using the 'Share' function in the online version.

Sway is a relatively new presentation + digital storytelling tool from Microsoft. It is also linear, but allows for more kinds of content to be inserted and embedded. It also relies on the concept of 'sections' rather than slides. 


  • Linear
  • Flexible organization through cards
  • 'Born' online object is easy to share
  • Easily embed images, video, and other web content.
  • Table of contents makes it easy to navigate


  • Less familiar
  • Layout within a card is less flexible - no 'slide' to move content around on

Access Sway as a Microsoft app through your campus email. 

Collaborating: Easily share a Sway with other editors using the 'Share' function in the online version.

Timeline.js is a free web tool developed by the Knight Lab at Northwestern University. It takes information from a user created Google Sheet (with rows for each point on the timeline) and uses that to represent points on an interactive timeline with proper scaling of days, months, and years. it can be viewed from a link, or embedded on a webpage. 


  • Designed specifically for creating timelines
  • Proper scaling of timeline points across the entire timeline
  • Easy integration of embeddable content like images and video


  • Learning curve
  • Multi-part: create and edit a spreadsheet, then integrate into the timeline tool
  • Less flexible structure - can't include multiple images/sections per 'event'

Collaborating: You'll need to share the spreadsheet which feeds into the Timeline tool with other editors. 

Creative Commons and Public Domain

It's important when you look for material to put in your project that you consider the copyright status of that work. Even if something is freely shared on the internet, it doesn't mean that content can be copied and shared freely without violating copyright. There are two kinds of works you should focus on in your searching that allow for straightforward reuse:

  • Materials that have a Creative Commons license on them, meaning they have been shared openly by the author
  • Materials in the public domain (most materials published before 1923)

See the Understanding Copyright tab to learn more about Creative Commons and public domain.

Sources of Content