Blog Writing Guidelines

Our blogs will constitute our shared space for discussing the primary literature and the secondary essays on technology, culture, and literature that we read during the course. Your individual blogs will take the place of classroom participation that is regularly used in traditional classroom settings as one of the mechanisms for evaluating student engagement with and understanding of the course material.

Blog post requirements:

1. Makes an argument: Blog posts should assert a specific, arguable claim about what the text/media is doing and how it is doing it. A summary of what you read isn’t what we’re after here.
2. Close relationship with the text: Wherever possible, posts should make use of direct and specific textual evidence (quotations) to convincingly support the arguable claim. While posts can argue for relationships with issues and objects external to the text, the text should be the primary object of study which illuminates the topic or issue you are attempting to explore.
3. Language and Grammar: As a college student demonstrating college-level writing, you should strive to use precise language while expressing complex ideas; blog entries should be proofread for spelling and grammatical issues before they are posted on the class blog.
4. Length: Since blog entries must include a sustained argument about the text, post lengths generally take of themselves. If you engage in a meaningful argument, you’ll have made your contribution to the class discussion and so length isn’t something you’ll need to worry about, but something just short of a typed page tends to be appropriate (~250-300 words).

Consider all of the above when writing your response, and remember that blog posts are the means by which you show me your level of engagement with the readings and with the course. Blog entries will receive 100 percent credit if they meet the above guidelines. If they are missing or deficient in one component, they will receive a 90 percent. If they are missing multiple components, they will receive an 80 percent. If few or none of the guidelines are followed, no credit will be awarded. Additional credit will be awarded for including meaningful references and responses to the arguments made by other students in their own blog posts.

In addition to writing blog posts of your own, you will also be required to respond to at least one prompt by another student each week. The blog reader responses will be due approximately 48 hours after the due date of the weekly blog posts. Responses to student blog entries must follow the above guidelines to receive credit, but students have typically been able to make adequate responses with fewer words than in the blog entries (200 words, say, rather than 250-300). The only additional requirement for blog reader responses is that they must demonstrate respect for the fellow classmate or classmates to whom they respond.


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