Multiple-Block Themes with Separate Points
     Each Point in a theme may include two or three blocks.
     A main danger when combining blocks is a tendency to be repetitious
     in analysis of quotes. Students often say almost the same thing after each
     succeeding quote, making the end product a bit redundant.

     To avoid being repetitious in the analysis of succeeding blocks,
           different levels of analysis may be used in different sections of a point: 

     A. Narrow analysis: Directly after the quote:
           Use specific analysis which refers to that specific quote.
           This may be clarification and judgment relating only to that quote.

     B. "Big Analysis":
           At the end of the whole point, put general concluding statements
which may refer to all examples in a point.
           - A connection might also go in this "big analysis,"
             instead of putting a connection after each block,
             which might be excessive.


                                               QuickBlock Projects
     A single block may serve as a good short theme.

     A single-block theme may be very useful in nonliterary classes where more concrete analysis of scientific or social concepts are being examined.

     A handwritten quickblock can easily be assigned on a narrow topic which is being addressed during the class period - to be finished during a single class period.

     If a more readable product is desired, a rough draft can be written in class on an assigned topic or from a choice of topics. The rough draft can then be examined and perhaps initialed by the instructor, who can circulate through the class while the quickblock is being written. The rough draft and a typed final draft can then be due at the next class meeting.

     In-class writing of single-block themes (or rough drafts of short themes) lets the teacher know the capabilities and style of individual students, and increases the odds that the students will be drawing from their own analytical abilities - without too much outside help. The instructor can require that only minor changes be made to the rough draft when producing the typewritten draft..

                                         The Longer Theme
     However,  the development of superior organizational skills will be enhanced if students learn to skillfully combine blocks into longer themes.

     While length does not by itself demonstrate mastery of good writing skills,
writing a longer theme using the organizational principles of the block concept
both develops in the student and illustrates to the teacher the ability of a student to maintain writing consistency over a longer period of time.

     Students can often do a good job on a short section, but lose steam when they have to be tenacious enough to maintain a high quality of organization and analysis over a number of points.

Click address to send an e-mail to

  © 2002  j r Andrews