Cubing is a brainstorming method based on the book Writing, by Gregory Cowan and Elizabeth Cowan (New York: Wiley, 1980).


Start by writing down the problem. Use all six sides of the cube, in the given order. Use no less than three minutes and no more than five minutes for each of the first five sides of the cube. For the sixth and final side – Argue – use five full minutes.

The six sides of the cube are described here in the proper sequence as follows:

Describe – How would you describe this topic, challenge or issue, including characteristics, definitions and parameters?

Compare – What is it similar to? Different from?

Associate – How does the topic connect to other issues you’ve dealt with before? Does it make you think of anything you’ve worked on in the past?

Analyze – What smaller parts make up the whole? Is it possible to break down the issue?

Apply – How is it used? Who uses it?

Argue – Explain your position for supporting or not supporting it.