An old-fashioned viewing apparatus looking out on a snowy lake with mountains in the background. Shane Hauser

Blog posts

We'll talk a lot this term about writing as conversation. Public writing is all about finding relevant conversations between other writers and situating your own views within those conversations. Sometimes, those reponses take the form of formal essays like those you'll write at the end of each unit, but other times, your contributions to public conversations can be much less formal. The blog post assignment asks you to practice contributing to public conversations from a more casual perspective than in your essays.

The goal of these posts is to experiment and have fun. There are relatively few requirements, and you are encouraged to write about whatever you want, in whatever tone, form, and style you want.


Assignment description

Post to your blog at least once a week. That's it.

Okay, there are a few more details, but in the main, this assignment asks you to author a blog post once a week. You decide when, you decide what it's about, you decide how you want to address your topic. You can certainly write about what we're reading in class, though you don't have to. You could connect the readings to something that interests you, or you could connect the readings to each other. You can use your posts to explore ideas for your papers.

You can also use your blog posts to write about something completely unrelated to what we're doing in class. It's your space. I certainly encourage you to write in ways that motivate others to join the conversation, but if you want to write for you and you alone, that's fine, too (though bear in mind that at least one other person will be reading your work).

You are also encouraged to add images to your post, to experiment with media, layout, design, and whatever else grabs your interest. Keep your audience in mind, and don't create anything that's impossible to read (neon yellow on a white background, for example), but feel free to try out new things.

Requirements

Your blog posts should:


Blog post schedule

You are responsible for posting something to your site once a week. You may choose which day and time you would like to post, but you must post each week. You will not be able to make up missed posts by posting twice in one week; however, I will drop one of your blog post grades at the end of the term.

Your first blog post should be posted some time during the week of 9/17-9/23.


Grading

Each blog post is worth 1 point, and I will drop one blog post grade from the term for a total of 10 points over the course of the semester.


Engaging with others

It's never fun to feel like you're writing into a vacuum. And it's always good to read what other people are writing and to participate in conversation. For these reasons, I encourage you to read your classmates' blog posts and to comment on what interests you. If someone writes something you want to follow up on, use your next blog post to reply.

To encourage everyone to read each other's writing, I'll create a digest of the previous week's post and send it to the class so that you will be able to see what everyone has been up to and follow up on posts that interest you. I will also promote everyone's blog posts on my own blog, and on my class Twitter account. If you would prefer that I don't promote your post, please let me know.