GOAL: Our course blog will be the primary shared writing space for WRT 102 this semester. As such, it highlights the social nature of digital knowledge, as we communicate with one another in this space by posting content, responding to one another’s writing, embedding media, and linking to outside sources. Each week, students will post approximately 300-500 words. This post might be a summary and response to readings, a continuation of classroom discussion, a question and tentative answer about a grammar/style issue, or a work-in-progress with reflection. In addition you will post a significant and thoughtful response to another student’s posting.
Through posting to our blog, you will build your own ethos and online presence, effectively use media to complement text, and provide links and references to other sources. Reading and responding to others’ posts will help you understand others’ viewpoints and foster a sense of our class as a writing/learning community.
You will always begin your post about a reading with a summary. Be sure your post includes the author’s full name and the correct title of the reading. Summarizing the reading in your own words will help you to understand the author’s perspective and identify his/her main ideas.
After your summary, you should try out a mini-textual analysis. Identify not only what the author says, but also how she says it. What is her purpose? How does she establish credibility? How does she connect with the reader? What evidence does she use to support her argument? What is her tone? What can you say about organizational structure? Word choice? What beliefs and values underlie her claims?
Sometimes I’ll provide specific prompts for you to consider in your post. Other times your blog entry may be more open-ended. There are a number of ways to approach these open-ended posts: consider the reading in relation to your own experience; write about an aspect of the day’s reading that you don’t understand, or something that resonates with you; or formulate an insightful question or two about the reading and then attempt to answer your own questions. When you respond to another student’s post, be thoughtful and respectful by building upon it, disagreeing with it, or re-thinking it. To ensure that everyone has a chance to read the blog before class, post your response by midnight the evening before class.
As the semester progresses, the blog will serve as a scaffolding tool, which you can use to both try out new writing approaches and to revise/refine writing you’ve been working on throughout the semester. For example, when you are revising, you might post an excerpt from a longer essay with some reflection and perhaps questions for your classmates regarding revision suggestions. When you are working on your researched essay, you’ll post your annotated bibliography, with links when available. My hope is that we’ll discover new ways of using the blog as the course progresses. Be sure to regularly check the class blog for further postings, and let me know if you have any questions. (These guidelines are gratefully adapted and modified from Prof Mark Sample and Prof Gideon Burton).