Each student will be creating a professional research blog using WordPress that will:
- share thoughts on issues related to their research subject and class
- detail and reflect on stages of their research process
- make public portions of their research to enable transparency
A key component of research is the authenticity of the writer/researcher and as such I will be asking you to use your real names when creating and naming your research blogs (if you have a strong opposition to using your real name, please question why you are interested in being a published author). For example, I might name my blog: Bill Wolff’s Research Blog (with the subheading, “investigating a decaying farmhouse in the Delaware countryside”) that has the URL, http://billwolff.wordpress.com. When people find the blog, and when you point to it when talking with or contacting interview subjects, having your real name associated with it provide authoritative weight and grounding.
The goal of the blog will be to present informed, insightful, curious, authoritative, and in-depth multi-modal posts on issues relating to your research subject and class specifically written for an audience outside of the classroom. Each post will need to have features that are important to blogs and blog readers: links whenever having one would make a meaningful connection, images, video, and so on. Write with the tone of exploration but with the confidence of an expert, not just a student learning something new in class. Rather, a writer thinking through new ideas on important subjects. Of course, use tags and assign appropriate categories–be sure to uncheck Uncategorized.
Blogging Specifics (updated March 31, 2014)
The specifics are as follows:
- each student is required to have a minimum of
105 blog posts over the course of the semester (additional posts will be required for certain assignments) 105 posts is a minimum and is what is expected. To go “significantly higher” (as written in the grading criteria) in terms of blog posts, you should have significantly more.
- your posts should contain a mixture of the following:
- posts that discuss and reflect on your research progress
- posts that discuss issues relating to your research in terms of ideas presented in class
- posts that share and discuss stories that you find online (and maybe tweet for #c2mondays) that are related to your research
- posts should be on the subject(s) you have chosen and include references to and quotes from texts we have read in class, but composed for a global audience, such as in these posts:
- do not wait until week 14 to do your posts; spread them evenly throughout the semester, composing when you’ve found something you want to write about
- each student is required to comment on at least 10 blog posts throughout the semester
- authors of blog posts should monitor the comments and reply to them, especially when they are coming from people outside of class
When designing, creating, and writing in your blog, please complete the following:
- Choose a professional and meaningful title and subtitle (due online by 2/4);
- Choose an appropriate theme (due online by 2/4);
- Compose a detailed and relevant about page that discusses who you are as well as what you are investigating (due online by 2/11);
- Add at least the following sidebar widgets: Twitter, tag cloud, categories, links, and search (due online by 2/11);
- For each post, compose a meaningful title written for an audience larger than our class;
- For each post, include 5 – 6 tags and at least 1 category (for excellent discussions on the reasons for categories and tags see VanFossen, “Categories versus tags — whats the difference and which one?“ Mathes, “Folksonomies – Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata“
Experiment with the dashboard area; see how things work and what happens when you make changes. The more you engage with, customize, and explore your blog, the more effective it will be and the more you will get out of the assignment.
There is no set requirement for the length of a blog post, though the more substantial your discussion the better the post will be as a post itself and as an artifact that helps you reflect on your research. Indeed, one of the features of the medium of blogging and the characteristics of posts is that the length is determined by it’s content and goals. However, for our purposes, each post should thoroughly discuss the subject at hand. See posts for prior Core 2 students for some excellent examples:
Blog Responses Log
So I am able to assess the comments you make on your classmate’s blog posts, please keep a log in a Word or GoogleDocs document that contains for each comment:
- the date
- the post you’re responding to, including URL
- the full text of your comment