Blog Assignment

Blog posts

You will post to the course blog at least once every week when readings are assigned, and your posts will serve as a starting point for our discussions about those readings. The goal of these posts is both

  1. to give you an opportunity to respond to and extend the discussions or concepts introduced in the course readings and
  2. to familiarize yourself with writing for the web.

For many of you, these posts will be the place where you form the ideas that will eventually become your multi-modal or your multimedia project for the course collection. In addition to your posts, you will regularly comment on your classmates’ blogs and, at least once during the semester, you will work with a small group to summarize your classmates posts for the week and lead a short discussion about those posts.


During the first week of class, you should skim this introduction to using WordPress blogs register an account on and watch this video on how to post a blog entry to the site (you may also want to read this more detailed information about posting blog entries).

If you choose an (appropriate) username that is not easily identifiable with your real name, you should tell me what it is in an email so that I know to give you credit for your posts.

In order to earn full credit, students should write thoughtful, substantive posts on the readings themselves or topics arising from those readings that are related to the course subject matter. Each post for credit should be at minimum 250 words. While you may post to the blog as often as you like, to receive credit for your posts 1) they must be added to the blog by midnight of the Sunday before the readings are due (that is, if there are readings due for the week of Tuesday, Jan. 17—there are—you must have a post on the blog by midnight on Sunday, Jan. 15, that addresses those upcoming readings) and 2) they must be tagged with your course section number (“001″ if you attend the 1 p.m. course, “002″ if you attend the 4 p.m. course).

In addition to the regular posts, I will occasionally assign posts with specific prompts that will be due between our Tuesday and Thursday class meetings, either to follow up on a topic of discussion from a Tuesday class meeting or to set up our discussion for Thursday. If a prompt is given for a particular week and your post does not address that prompt, that post will not receive full credit.

Before you start posting, you should read this information about posting blog entries.

You should expect to spend at 1–2 hours on each post, thinking about the content, writing and revising, and adding appropriate links and other media.

Rich content and citation

While it is not a requirement, you are strongly encouraged to add appropriate links, images, and other media to your posts. You do not need to add full citation information to material that you included in your posts. However, you will follow the basic requirements of scholastic honesty by clearly indicating when content in your posts was not created by you, and always providing information about the author of that content and where it can be located.

In the case of text, this would involve identifying the author(s) of the quotations or ideas you reference; placing direct quotes within quotation marks or setting them off as block text; and either providing a link to the webpage where you found the original text or the complete citation information for non-web content like books or other printed materials, or, if necessary, both.

In the case of images, audio, video, or any other material, correct citation would take the form of identifying the author of the piece in your text and providing a link to the webpage where you found the original material.

For content that may not be covered by these examples, or, if you have any questions about citation, ask me prior to posting the content to the blog.


In this course, posting ‘appropriate’ content will mean that the material you add to your posts increases the value of your post for your readers, such as by providing a concrete illustration of a complex idea, providing further reading on your topic, etc. ‘Appropriate’ also means that the content is such that it would be acceptable for sharing in class. The course blog is not a forum for you to share content unrelated to the course (no matter how hilarious it might be) or content that is offensive or inappropriate. That does not mean that you cannot deal with sensitive topics; rather, it means that you approach these topics not for shock or humor value, but, using the kinds of academic analysis modeled in the course, by showcasing their value in illuminating the themes of the course. If you ever have a question about the appropriateness of a post, please contact me prior to posting that content to the blog.


One of the unique features of blogs is that they allow for comments. For this reason, most blogs are conversational; that is, they are forums where individuals share ideas with each other and engage in substantive discussions about those ideas through comments. Students should not only focus on creating interesting posts, but they should also make an effort to read and respond to their classmates’ posts. Part of this response will be not only providing comments, but also following up on those comments and responding to them. Update 1/15/12: Comments are not due at any particular time; you should plan on reading your classmates’ posts after they are added on Sunday nights, then adding comments as you see fit.

You should expect to spend an additional 30 minutes to an hour each week reading and responding to your classmates’ posts.

Blog response

For the blog response assignment you will work in groups of 2–3. You and your group will be assigned one week during the semester when you will

  1. create a document summarizing your classmates’ blog posts for that week, and
  2. lead a 20–25 minute class discussion of the content of the posts.

These response sessions will be held on Tuesdays, generally at the beginning of class.

You should plan to spend 2–3 hours preparing for this assignment.

Blog response schedule

Jan. 24
001: Caroline, Alyssa
002: Thomas, Rich

Jan. 31
001: Sean, Sean
002: John, Liz

Feb. 7
001: Michael S., Andrew S.
002: Jackie, Zach, Angel

Feb. 14 16
001: Lydia, Terri
002: Elise, Madison

Feb. 21
001: Erica, Tiffany
002: Matt, Ben, Joe

Mar. 6
001: Connor, Monique, Jeremiah
002: Melissa, Stacey

Mar. 13
001: Michael F., Lauren, Kristen
002: Drew, Josh

Mar. 20
001: Ashley, Nikki, Andrew O.
002: Sarah, Sara

image credit: bre pettis