The Blog Assignment: The Details

I have worked out more of the details for the blog assignment (which you can download here).

30% or 300 points (15 total @ 20 points each)

7      Direct engagements with the readings
3      Annotated bibliographies
5      "Queer This!" posts

10% or 100 points (10 total @ 10 points each)

3       Comments posted in response to the query in "Class Summaries and Queries"
4       Comments posted on direct engagement OR annotated bibliography entries.
3       Comments posted on any blog entries



7 DIRECT ENGAGEMENTS: 6 that you chose + 1 required additional reading

These direct engagements with our course readings are expected to include an appreciation, critique and summary of your chosen reading or readings.

One of these direct engagements will be focused on the additional article that you are required to read (and present on) for your presentation. It will be due the week of your presentation. The other 6 entries can be based on a course reading of your choosing. See the end of this description for entry deadlines.

Appreciation involves figuring out what the author is saying and demonstrating a clear understanding of their argument and how they develop and defend it. Appreciation does not require that you agree with the reading. Instead, it requires that you clearly state what the author is trying to state. What is their main argument? What is the purpose of that argument? How do they defend it?

Critique involves assessing what the author is saying. Critique should not involve a total rejection of dismissal of your chosen readings. Instead, they could include: raising some critical or questions and/or exploring the benefits or limitations of the argument.

Construction involves applying the concepts from the reading to your own thoughts, areas of interest and research or experiences. It could also involve applying the reading to the topics/discussions of our class.

There is no word count requirement. Your entry can be as long (within reason) or as short as you think necessary in order to demonstrate a critical engagement with your chosen reading/readings. By critical engagement I mean that your entry clearly demonstrates: a. that you have closely read (that means for than once) the reading and b. that you have thought through it in terms of appreciation, critique and construction. I would encourage you to play around with your word count, but aim for shorter entries rather than longer ones.

You may also submit up to 3 entries as VIDEOS through CLA's Media Mill project. We will talk more about this option in the upcoming weeks. The same requirements (as above) apply with video entries. You must demonstrate a critical engagement with your readings.

Becoming a better blogger requires that you participate on a regular basis. Posting all of your entries at the same time or at the last minute (on the final day of the semester) will not help you improve your participation in the blog. Therefore, I am requiring that:

Your first 2 entries are due by October 24

Your second 2 entries are due by November 19

Your third 2 entries are due by December 10


3 Annotated Bibliographies (of sorts)

These 3 annotated bibliography entries should include a brief summary and engagement with a number of different outside sources (that is, sources that are not included on the syllabus) that relate to your chosen topic. Each entry should include at least 3 sources, one of which must be a "traditional" academic source (an academic article or book). You may also write about films/videos, other blogs, websites, news articles, commercials, songs, poems, images, etc. 

Your annotated bibliography should begin with an overview of how your sources connect (and why you are grouping them together in your entry). Then, each bibliographic entry should include:

a. Title of the source.

Your title should also be a link to the source (or to a more detailed citing of your source). Just in case you have forgotten, here is how to create a link within your entry:

Highlight the title in your entry. Scroll up to the chain image at the top of the entry box and click on it. Put in the URL (address) for your link and hit okay.

b. Author/authors of the source.

c. Brief summary.

You should provide a brief summary of the source and how it relates to the term that you are tracking.

d. Discussion of useful information.

You should include a brief discussion of how and why this source is useful (or not useful) for your topic. You could include short passages, examples or ideas that the author/authors raise/s.

e. Additional sources and/or directions for further reading/thinking.

Each entry should include your reflections on further research/thinking about your term. If possible, mention any additional sources that your source discusses that might be useful.

f. Formal citation.

In addition to linking to your source, you should formally cite it using MLA style.  Here are links for using MLA style:

Books, Periodicals, Internet, Other            

One key purpose of these entries is to track your research progress as you critically reflect on your term. Therefore, these three entries should be done throughout the semester (and not just at the last minute). Here are your deadlines for these annotated bibliography entries:

Your first bibliography is due by October 24

Your second bibliography is due by November 19

Your third bibliography is due by December 10

5 "Queer This!" posts

2 examples posted as new entries and 3 comments on other students'/instructor's "queer this!" entries.

2 examples: For more information on "queer this!" posts, check out my description of them on our blog. The only formal requirement for these posts is that you find an example (it could be an image, an article, a movie/commercial/television show, a song) that relates to our course topics and readings and that you believe deserves/demands a queer analysis. You can post your examples any time during the semester.

*Note: It is possible to earn up to an additional 20 points extra credit if you submit more than 2 examples. Each extra example is worth 5 points (so you can submit an additional 4 examples: 4 @5 points each = 20 points).

3 comments: For each of your posted comments, you must provide a queer analysis of and/or commentary on another student's "queer this" post. Your comments should be substantial and go beyond a mere reaction to the example. You need to offer a well thought out response.


Here are the requirements for your comments:

1. Be Respectful and Thoughtful in your response.

2. At least a few of your comments should include a discussion of how the entry/topic you are commenting on does/doesn't connect with you own theme.

3. Complete at least ½ of your comments by the end of October.

*Note: It is possible to earn up to an additional 10 points extra credit if you submit more than 10 comments. Each extra comment is worth 2 points (so you can submit an additional 5 comments: 5 @2 points each = 10 points