Blog Posts and Comments

Every week, you are asked to respond to our readings and discussions on this blog. You will respond either by writing a blog post or by writing a comment on one of your classmates’ blogs.

I’m asking you to make these posts for three reasons:

1. Because we learn better when we pause to reflect on our activities, whether readings or conversations; things that didn’t seem important at the time can come to feel much more significant. When you experience something confusing or upsetting (and many of the stories we will be reading for class do have confusing and upsetting elements), writing about it can help to make sense of why a creator makes the decisions they do.  And reading others’ responses, perhaps formulating answers to the questions they pose or posing alternative points of view, will help you to more fully articulate your own ideas.

2. Because regular reflective writing helps us to come up with new creative ideas, which will be useful as you work on your exploration assignments.

3. Because the collection of writings on the website will give us a collective record of your time in class that each student will be able to look back on, tracing the progress of your own and your classmates’ thoughts and ideas from the beginning of the semester to its end.

On ELMS, you will see that you have been assigned to one of four blogging groups. Your blog posts will be written in response to either our Tuesday or our Thursday readings (though you may post at any point prior to class), in either even-numbered or odd-numbered weeks, from weeks 2 through 13. In the weeks where you are not assigned to blog, you must comment on one of your classmates’ blogs by Friday.

Each blog post is worth 20 points and each comment is worth 5 points.

Blog posts should answer some of the following questions. You may choose which assigned text to focus on; I encourage you to seek out connections between them.

– What do you think the writer/creator’s goal was? In what ways were they successful? Try to get beyond your own immediate responses.
– What audience do you think they were trying to reach? If you aren’t sure, ask yourself what you think an ideal audience member for this work would need to know.
– What lit you up? Were there passages, moments, ideas that left you breathless and excited?
– What shut you down? Were there passages, moments, ideas that made you confused, angry, depressed?
– How does this work connect to the other material we have discussed in class?
– What do you want to talk about? Where would you like our class discussion of this piece to go?

Write at least 400 words; you may focus entirely on one question, give short answers to a few, or write anything you like so long as it is a direct response to the reading. You are welcome to include images or other media.

Comments should be substantial, at least two sentences in length, and may respond to any aspect of your classmates’ work. Only one comment per week will be counted, though you are welcome to make more if you have more to say.

If you miss a blog post or comment during the semester, you may write a make-up blog during Week 14.