September 8, 2014 by Brian Harmon
- What should you say?
- First off, address the prompt. If you don’t have much to add, try to triangulate something in your experience to add to our conversation.
- For posts directed toward a specific reading…don’t simply summarize! We all read them, so you don’t need to tell us what the author wrote. Instead, add something new.
- To add something new, try phrases like “This reminds me of…” and “One thing the author left out is…” and “The author’s point connects to my life because….”
- Think of yourself: what would you want to read? Like, actually want to read? Try to write that way–perhaps using humor or other rhetorical strategies to make your post especially interesting.
- Add images and links. Be mindful how you link and cite sources.
- How to say it?
- Don’t try to impress us with fancy language, but don’t be afraid of useful terminology when it helps you explain an idea. (Especially useful: using terms from class, which helps us see how they work in real life.)
- Try for a style that is informal/conversational/friendly/laid-back. But don’t go so informal or sloppy that we don’t know what you mean.
- Expressing uncertainty is good! It’s ok to think through complicated ideas “out loud.” Like this: “I don’t know if I believe this myself yet, but when I read this chapter, part of me wondered….”
- A somewhat rambly organization is fine–these can be first drafts. But we always appreciate sentences that tell us how things fit together, like this: “I know the last few sentences seem off-topic, but here’s why I think they fit:….”
- Technical things:
- Use a title that lets classmates know what the post is about. Funny is ok!
- Lean toward many short paragraphs.
- Think of your classmates as your audience.
- Linking to outside articles/definitions/websites/tweets/ideas is always appreciated! It says, “Hey reader, I want to help you out with this small gift.” Make sure your links work!
- Lean toward longer, but not if you’re repeating yourself. Instead, push yourself to think, “Have I considered this from every angle?”
- When you refer to a specific part of a reading, use a page number if you can. We might want to look it up and see if we agree with you!
- Make sure to add TAGS to your posts. This helps everyone navigate your site more quickly and easily.
- Check to see what it *actually* looks like. Don’t just hit ‘publish’ and forget it…often times you can improve the aesthetics of a post with simple adjustments and attention to interface realities.
Adapted from THIS website