Cubing asks you to probe your topic from six different perspectives. First,
select a topic (issue, person, idea, event, problem, person, object, scene) and
write it at the top of your page to help you keep it firmly in mind. Then give
yourself three to five minutes to write from each of the perspectives listed
below. Start from what you know, but don't limit yourself: give yourself
permission to identify those areas that will need further thought or research
and speculate about where you will discover this information. Try not to
sabotage yourself; that is, keep going until you have written about your topic
from all six perspectives. As in
freewriting, it is important to reread what you
have written. Look for surprises, unexpected insight, momentum.
- Describing: Physically describe your topic. What does it look like?
What color, shape, texture, size is it? Identify its parts.
How is your topic similar to other topics/things? How is it
- Associating: What other topic/thing does your topic make you think of?
Can you compare it to anything else in your experience? Don't be afraid to
be creative here: include everything that comes to mind.
- Analyzing: Look at your topic's components. How are these parts
related? How is it put together? Where did it come from? Where is it going?
- Applying: What can you do with your topic? What uses does it have?
What arguments can you make for or against your topic?
Axelrod, Rise B., and Charles R. Cooper. The Concise Guide to
St. Martin's, 1993.
Meyer, Emily, and Louise Z. Smith. The Practical Tutor. NY: Oxford UP, 1987.