Weekly Blogging

Weekly posts = 12% of your final grade
Revisions = 6%
Commenting = 7%

Blog posts are due every Friday at 9 p.m. You must write 12, and revise 4 of them to be graded as part of your final portfolio. A typical post should be around 500 words, but some might not have any words at all. You can view upcoming and past writing prompts here.

Evaluation (“raw,” unrevised versions):
2 = Satisfactory
1 = Unsatisfactory
0 = Not submitted or unacceptable

Why such a simple grading scheme? I want your blog posts to be about the process of writing and engaging with the ideas in the texts, not about “doing it right.” I will only mark something “unsatisfactory” if (a) it’s apparent that you haven’t read or thought about the material you’re writing about, (b) there are so many spelling or grammatical mistakes that it’s difficult to understand, or (c) you consistently fail to make corrections or improvements that we’ve gone over in class or during office hours.

You are also responsible for evaluating one student’s work every week, at least 12 times in total. These are due on Monday evenings at 9 p.m.
A new partner will be assigned to you at the beginning of every month. To find out who your partner is, log into Blackboard and click on “Groups.” If your partner hasn’t posted anything that week, comment on another student’s post within your class section.

There is no strict form to follow for your comment. It should be roughly 100 words and take the form of a paragraph or two.
In the words of Graff and Birkenstein (two of our textbook authors), start with what “they say.” Often, it helps to begin with a short summary. If you think your partner is saying something different from what she thought she’d said, there’s been a failure in communication! Next, consider the genre and purpose of the writing. A work might be intended to inform, to persuade, to evoke a particular emotion, or just to “go viral” and generate advertising revenue (i.e., clickbait). Try to evaluate the post from the perspective of the implied audience (see Writer/Designer, pp. 22-27). Who would be most likely to read or view this piece–a specific 13-year-old? a biologist? people who want to learn more about presidential politics? etc. Would that person “get it”? It’s common for a piece of work to address more than one group of readers or “stakeholders,” and to serve multiple purposes (say, to educate us while making us laugh).
With the topic, genre, purpose, and audience in mind, address these questions Does your partner’s blog succeed at its purpose? How, where, and why? What aspects could use improvement? That is, did the tone fall flat, did you lose the thread of the argument, or did the author begin substituting rhetorical flourishes for hard evidence?
You are welcome to include more personal remarks. For instance, did the post remind you of anything you’ve learned somewhere else, or did it change the way you think about the topic or give you ideas for your next piece of writing?

See They Say/I Say, chapters 4 and 12, and Writer/Designer, pages 110-14, for more suggestions on providing constructive feedback. If you’re stuck, ask yourself: what sort of feedback would you most want to receive about your own work?




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