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Organization Practice -- Tables

Instructions: The information contained in the following passages lends itself to organization into tables. Read these passages and see if you can make up tables to present the important information.


Rocks seem commonplace enough to most people, but to others they are fascinating, and rightly so.

Rocks are divided into three main types, according to how they were made.

Igneous rock is fire-born. It was once magma, or liquid rock, hidden deep inside the earth. Shifts in the earth's crust (such as an earthquake) caused this liquid rock to escape. When the hot magma hit the cool air, it hardened, forming igneous rock.

Sedimentary rock is formed from earth materials gradually worn down by water, wind, and snow. Tiny particles of dirt, sand, and clay are washed to the bottoms of lakes, rivers, and oceans. Rocks are formed as layers of this sediment build up, each pressing down and hardening the layer underneath. Again, shifts in the earth's crust cause the layers to come to the surface.

Metamorphic rock is "made over" rock. Either igneous or sedimentary rock is metamorphosed, or changed, usually through extreme heat or pressure under the earth's crust. This ever-continuing process has formed the various landscapes of the earth since the beginning of time.

When you are finished compiling a table on "Rocks," click here to see an example.

Now try doing a table for the following passage:

Shakespeare's Dramas

Shakespeare's dramas fall rather naturally into three main groups. Those written during his earlier years conformed to the traditions of existing plays and generally reflected his own confidence in personal success. They include such comedies as A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, a number of historical plays, and the lyrical tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Shortly before 1600 Shakespeare seems to have experienced a change of mood. The restrained optimism of his earlier plays was supplanted by some deep disillusions which led him to distrust human nature and to indict the whole scheme of the universe. The result was a group of dramas characterized by bitterness, overwhelming pathos, and a troubled searching into the mysteries of things. The series begins with the tragedy of intellectual idealism represented by Hamlet, goes on to the cynicism of Measure for Measure, and Alls Well That Ends Well, and culminates in the cosmic tragedies of Macbeth and King Lear. The final group of dramas includes those written during the closing years of Shakespeare's life, probably after his retirement. Among them are The Winter's Tale and The Tempest. All of them may be described as idyllic romances. Trouble and grief are now assumed to be only the shadows in a beautiful picture. Despite individual tragedy, the divine plan of the universe is somehow benevolent and just.

Edward McNall Burns. Western Civilizations N.Y.: W.W. Norton & Co., 1973, 392.

When you are finished compiling a table on "Shakespeare's Dramas," click here to see an example.

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