Ok, you’re on the blog. Now, what should you write?
Think of your posts as notes toward conversation we’ll have in class. For your responses to the weekly reading, use your post to identify features of the texts that you want to discuss with the rest of us—maybe because they seem interesting, troubling, exciting, or confusing to you; because they remind you of something else we’ve been talking about; or because they prompt you toward some possible idea for your thesis. You may write informally here, describing your response to the reading. Note specific passages (via quotation and citation) that you think we might want to read together and draw connections, asking questions like: How is each text put together, and how does it work for you as a reader? What would you like to understand better after we meet?
How long should your post be, and when is it due?
Each blog post should be 300-600 words long, which equals a page or two of double-spaced writing. (Save your posts in an electronic document, too.) We’ll decide on the first day of class what day/time of the week the blog posts are due.
If you miss a deadline, you may post late, but lateness defeats the general purpose of preparing for our discussion, so late posts count for 50% of a timely post, and they should contribute to the discussion about “keyterms” or “thesis questions” rather than “weekly reading”.
How will the blog posts be graded?
Your blog posts will be graded only the quality of your effort and engagement with the texts. The best blog posts raise good questions for our class discussion by demonstrating a genuine curiosity about the reading and fostering that curiosity in their readers, too.(After all, nobody is curious about everything, so we all need to work at that sometimes, and every good critic learns how to make their curiosity contagious.) If you think hard and reflect your thoughts in writing, you will do well on the blog posts, which are graded as “informal writing”.
Where can you go for technical help?
If you have any questions, the first thing to do is consult the help page. If you try to get help there but you still have problems, contact Rob Garfield at James.Garfield@qc.cuny.edu.