Blogging FAQs

What is my blog?

Your blog represents your Journalism 2 experience and who you are as a journalist. It's what you know, how you learned it, how far you've come, and where you're going. Your blog is yours, and it should reflect your personality and unique voice. It should show a piece of your progress and ability in each of the areas of the class, and it should be something you're proud to display.

What do I need to do and how will it be graded?

Your blog is made up of six main components, each of these is graded differently. I'll describe the criteria for an "A" for each area. Your blog will be graded weekly throughout the quarter with major analysis happening at Mid-Term and at the end of each quarter.

  1. Your thoughts on questions posed by the teacher.

    • Link to what you are writing about: Be sure to honor the author of whatever you are responding to. Provide a hyperlink to the site and name that person.

    • Comment on what you are reading/learning in terms of what you think about when you read it. How does it make you feel? How has it helped your learning? What about it are you still confused about or wrestling with.

    • Be sure to explain your thoughts in depth. Explain to your readers how you arrived at your thinking and what other ideas contributed to it.

  2. Your reflection on your own work and your own thoughts on issues related in any way to our class.

    • There are no minimum requirements in this area. Be creative, thoughtful, humorous, or curious. This is your chance to personalize your blog with your unique voice and questions. Feel free to post about frustrations or epiphanies, or just whatever is on your mind.

  3. The progress and discoveries you're making in your major projects each quarter.

    • As you research your major topic each quarter, you're going to be becoming an expert on it. Write about what you're discovering, the questions that remain, and how you're finding connections to greater areas.

  4. Your analysis of what you're reading, or a "Reading Log".

    • Sometimes, these are in response to specific questions, other times you'll be writing these on your own. Either way, you should post links to the articles you read and work toward coming to either a meaningful analysis - connecting it to other things you've read or areas of study - or asking provocative question. A great reading log will do both.

    • This should be done weekly at the very least. More posts will translate to a richer experience with Journalism throughout the quarter and will make your learning and writing more well-rounded and powerful.

  5. The posting of and reflecting upon your own work.

    • This is the "Portfolio" part of this weblog. When you create a piece of work in this class, whether it's a layout, a story, photograph, video, or any sample of your work, upload it and reflect on it. Each piece of your portfolio is called an "Artifact".

    • Remember that you shouldn't just be posting "perfect" samples of your work. You should post your efforts that either lead to better work or even projects that you abandon completely. Those can show growth and effort beyond a single final product.

    • Each portfolio entry should be accompanied by Reflection

  6. Leaving comments for other bloggers and responding to the comments on your own blog.

    • Offer suggestions for things that might help your fellow bloggers think through an idea. Provide other examples of evidence or be willing to respectfully disagree. When you do disagree, state why. Perhaps you have something that the author hasn’t considered. When someone comments on your writing, comment back! Remember, blogging is a form of communication and is used in this class to increase the exchange of ideas between classmates. It is necessary that the communication is continual. Check your blogs often and respond in a timely manner.

What is blogging, anyway?

The following is based on the work of Will Richardson.
"The differences between blogging ... and writing as we traditionally think of it are clear: Writing stops; blogging continues. Writing is inside; blogging is outside. Writing is monologue; blogging is conversation. Writing is thesis; blogging is synthesis…none of which minimizes the importance of writing. But writing becomes an ongoing process. One that is not just done for the contrived purposes of the classroom."
From Blog, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Tools for Classrooms.

This list will take you up the chain from the most simple forms of non-blogging to the most complex and full forms of real blogging.

  1. Journaling, i.e. “This is what I did today.” (Not blogging)

  2. Posting links. (Not blogging)

  3. Links with descriptive annotation, i.e, “This site is about….” (Not really blogging either, but getting close depending on the depth of the description)

  4. Reflective, metacognitive writing on practice without links. (complex writing, but simple blogging, I think. Commenting would probably fall in here somewhere.)

  5. Links with analysis and synthesis that articulate a deeper understanding or relationship to the content being linked and writing with potential audience response in mind. (Real blogging).

  6. Extended analysis and synthesis over a longer period of time that builds on previous posts, links, and comments. (Complex blogging)

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