January 15, 2007

Getting Started...

Welcome to ENGC 1012 and to my UThink Blog! In this course, we'll be using UThink Blogs to respond to the course readings, to link to interesting information found online, and to comment on one another's entries. If you already have a UThink Blog, please set up a category for ENGC 1012 so we can easily access your entries.

If you don't have a U Think Blog, you'll need to set one up. Visit the library's UThink start-up page to do so. You may also want to take a look at the guide to using Movable Type.

Once your blog has been established, please post a comment to this entry providing the link. Your blog should be up and running by Monday, January 22nd.

Basic guidelines for participating in the blog component of this class

Make Two Entires a Week:

First entry: Post on your blog.
The post on your site needs to be made by midnight Tuesday of every week.

Second entry: Make a comment on another student's blog.
Your comment needs to be made by midnight Thursday of every week.

Come to this site to access the links to other student's blogs.

Guidelines about Posting on Your Blog

Make your post by midnight Tuesday of each week.
Your post needs to be roughly the equivalent of one double spaced page of writing. I recommend you create your posting in Word to ensure you have a posting of adequate length, then cut and paste it into your blog.

The purpose of the posts on your blog is to respond in writing to the readings on our syllabus. These responses are considered "informal writing" as they are not graded. This is space for you to use writing to explore your own ideas about the readings we are doing this semester. While these postings are not expected to be as polished as the writing you will turn in for grades, they, like your papers require that you are thinking critically about what you have read.

Ocassionally, I will give you a question I want you to respond to in your post. I will post these questions on this blog, so check this blog before you write your post.

Before you write your blog post, consider your reaction to the reading. (This means, of course, that you need to have done the reading before you write about it on your blog.)

In your post, state and explain your position on the subject the reading addresses. Rather than simply stating that you liked or didn't like the reading, I want you to write about why you did or didn't like the reading. Then explore and explain the reasons behind your opinion.

Here are some ideas that can get you started on your post:
Do you agree with the author's position? Disagree? Why?
Have you had a personal experience that relates to the subject matter that was addressed in the reading? Relate your experience, and discuss its relationship to the reading.
Choose one or two ideas the author has explored and react to them in your own words. Do your thinking on the page. Use the post to sort out what you think about the material that is being discussed in the reading, or the ideas that the reading provokes in you.

Optional: If you like, note the author's execution one of the techniques we have been discussing in class. Sometimes the authors of these articles do not do such a great job with some of the elements of essay writing we will be talking about. If you see something that you think could have been done better, make of a note of it briefly at the end of your post.

The subject matter of the readings we will be doing this semester form the foundation for the writing we will be doing. Keep this is mind when you are thinking of what you want to focus in your papers. You might get some ideas for your papers through your blog postings.

Guidelines for Commenting on a Classmates Entry

Make your comment by midnight Thursday of each week.

Base your comment on the entry you have chosen to react to.
In other words, you need to have read the entry you are commenting on. Make sure you start your entry by reacting directly to something you read in the post.

Here are some ideas that can get you started on your comment:
Do you agree with the opinion of the author? Disagree? Why?
Has the author of the post focused on something you didn't notice about the reading? What? What do you find intriguing about their observation?
How does the post you are commenting on expand your thinking about the reading?

Be respectful.
Remember, the aptomphere of respect that is expected in our classroom applies to these blogs as well. The thinking and writing that will take place on these blogs is an extension of the discussions we are going to have in class, so when you are commenting on another student's entry, do so with the same level of respect you would use while making a comment in the classroom.

Do not comment on the same student's blog two weeks in a row.
These comments can be shorter than your own postings. However, this doesn't mean that you don't have the space to be thoughtful and articulate about what you are trying to express.