Blocking Plan: Complete this before you start writing your rough draft. You will turn in a copy of your blocking plan the day the essay is due for 25 homework points.
Blocking is a planning strategy in which you draw, or map out, your essay before you start writing. It is a lot like outlining, but closer to the way writers actually plan their writing. It requires you to figure out 1) what you need to accomplish in the essay and 2) how you’ll get the job done. Use your Blocking Plan as a road map once you sit down to draft your essay.
By “blocks” we mean the chunks of information you’ll need in the essay in order to successfully communicate and support your central claim. Use the following questions to guide to your blocking.
1. What do I need to accomplish in this essay? (Write your response at the top of the page.)
2. How many blocks of information will I need to accomplish these goals? (Draw and label these blocks, leaving space in each to write.)
3. What is the purpose or goal of each block? Why is it here? How does it help the reader and contribute to a successful essay? (Write your responses in the blocks.)
4. What information needs to go into each block in order to meet the goals established in Step 3? (Look through your prewriting, your notes from class, your Reading Response Journals, and the texts we’ve read to figure out what material goes where.)
5. How much space, roughly, do I want each block to take up? (Write the number of paragraphs you’ll use to complete each section.)
* Everything in the plan can certainly change as you write, but your drafting process will be much more focused and efficient with this preliminary plan in place.
Sample: (Yours will likely be more detailed.)
I need to persuade the reader that Steinbeck’s story makes a claim about gender roles. I want to show the reader how Elisa represents the way in which gender roles are not “natural” but imposed by society/patriarchy. I’ll have to do close reading in order to prove this. I also want the reader to leave with a sense that this story delivers an important statement, which is relevant to our contemporary understanding of gender.
Introduction: Needs to grab the reader's attention, convince them that this is an important topic, and prepare them for my thesis.
· Here I want to talk about the general history of thinking about gender, how we have transitioned from thinking gender roles are natural to thinking they are, in part, a product of society.
· I also need to briefly introduce the story, and explain how Steinbeck’s story represents a more modern way of thinking about gender, even though it was written back in 1936. (1 paragraph.)
Thesis: This tells my reader what my main point is and what to expect in the rest of the essay. It should also be interesting and persuasive.
· I need to state clearly and directly what the story means, what it represents about society and gender.
· I also need to preview for the reader the specific parts of the story I’m going to...