Notes on Blog Posts


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


One thought on “Notes on Blog Posts

  1. […] Note: I have had a few folks ask about the formatting of blog posts.  Remember, these are part of your participation grade.  I will not grade them individually.  Occasionally I’ll make a comment or suggestion, but not consistently.  At the end of the semester, I’ll look carefully through your blog and assess your participation.  That said, I wanted to give you some quasi-guidelines so before you start on today’s post, have a look at THIS. […]

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