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January 16, 2007

Blogging Guidelines

As each of you take on the cultural role of a blogger, you need to be thoughtful about what that entails. Blogs have emerged as one of the most forceful and influential media outlets, and we are going to treat ours as a place for such intellectual work. It is not merely a bulletin board or a social space, though it may also become those things. First and foremost, it is a place to make insightful observations, thoughtful critiques, meaningful connections, and provocative arguments. When writing your blog post, you are specifically tasked with engaging very recent assigned readings and class conversations and formulating a thoughtful and stimulating statement. Make connections between these readings and conversations and your public project experiences, social issues, current events, media reporting, public policy, or cultural practices. In doing so, you are doing more than merely describing, summarizing, or giving information. You are creating arguments—large and small—along the way. You are asserting your ideas in convincing ways, attempting to persuade your reader.

At a glance, the guidelines are as follows:

  • engage recent readings and class conversations
  • make connections to contemporary social issues
  • assert arguments convincing and stimulating arguments
  • post approximately 300 to 600 words for a blog entry
  • post blog entry by 5:00 pm on the eve of your assigned class period (Monday and Wednesday)
  • post 100 to 200 words for a comment
  • post comments by 12:00 noon on the day of your assigned class period (Tuesday and Thursday)

Take a look at some of the examples of active blogs that are working hard to inform, instruct, and ignite, and incite. In most cases you’ll see there is no shortage of smart, convincing writing that is characteristic of this genre. Find a voice that suits you in blogs like these and then assert your own voice. Being an effective blogger is only a matter of will.

Little Green Footballs (a conservative blog)

The Moderate Voice (a moderate blog)

Think Progress (a liberal blog)

The Raw Story(a news media blog)

A myriad of examples is merely a google search away.

Blog on.