Day 13 (Wednesday, September 23rd)
Today you will be introducing blogging: best practices, so read up on your notes. You will also continue to help students make connections between our expanding resources: essays & articles, blogs and films. It’s not up to you to make every possible connection for them, but modeling what you want from them by making some of your own connections will help them understand what’s expected for this assignment.
Students are continuing to listen to the rhetoric of green conversation, which is expanding rapidly. They might be feeling overwhelmed, like they’ll have to cover the entire conversation in the upcoming assignment. Remind them that this couldn’t be further from their purpose, which is to make connections between texts and to comment on specific ideas and their implications.
Attendance and introduction (2-3 minutes)
Begin class by letting students know they are getting close to having all the resources needed to complete assignment 2.
WTL (8-10 Minutes)
We’ve now critically examined two blogs. Using your blog analysis you did for homework, consider the gristmill blog. What did you think was effective about this blog? What was ineffective? What about this blog would you use in your own blog? What wouldn’t you use? Which of the two blogs do you prefer and why? Remember your audience for this assignment. How will your blogging choices keep their needs in mind?
Blogging: Best Practices Overhead & Discussion (15-20 Minutes)
Blogging: an Overview
A well-written blog is an effective way to communicate within our writing community. Writers often want to know how others feel about issues, especially when those issues are contentious within the public discourse.
Bloggers are very much like the rest of us in that they are unable to read everything on a topic before they weigh in on it publicly. A well-written blog will describe your experiences, observations, and opinions based on what you have read and viewed within the rhetoric of green. Your goal is to be helpful. You want to open up the conversation, not close it, by bringing ideas together (synthesis) to discuss their implications.
This guide is designed to help you prepare effective blogs. These are only suggestions to help you make your initial rhetorical choices for the assignment. You do not have to use all the numbered suggestions.
When Posting: Consider Your Title
A good title can act as an effective hook. While in this assignment we will be assigned to respond to our peer’s blog posts, in the blogosphere, a good title can determine whether someone reads your post or the thousands of other posts available at the click of their fingertips.
When Commenting on your peer’s blogs:
1. Make your comments thoughtful and informed, meaning you’ve done necessary research and are not basing your posts on your “gut feelings.” Be sure to reference what stood out to you in the post or in another's comments. Strive to keep the conversation alive in your comments, whether you agree or disagree with the post.
2. Post comments that are related to the entry. Save class small talk for e-mail or in-person exchanges.
Don’t blatantly promote your own blog. Especially if the entry is unrelated to your post.
Always behave with the utmost decorum! This goes without saying. If you don’t share a blogger’s opinions, don’t make it your mission to infiltrate his/her blog with personal attacks.
If you’re emotionally riled by a blog, pause before you hit submit. You might regret what you wrote.
Discussion of Bjorn Lomborg Talk (8-10 Minutes)
1. What topic does Lomborg cover in his talk and where have we seen this topic in other texts?
2. What is Lomborg’s frame of reference?
3. What issues does Lomborg discuss within the topic?
4. How is his discussion of the issue similar or different than what we’ve read, heard or seen in other texts?
5. What gaps in our inquiry does Lomborg fill?
Discussion of the Gristmill blog (8-10 Minutes)
General blog questions:
1. How is a blog different than a newspaper, or other genres?
2. What are some advantages of blogs, compared to other genres?
3. What are some disadvantages of blogs, compared to other genres?
4. Do you use or frequent blogs in your daily lives?
5. Do you think blogging is becoming an important means for discourse in our lives?
Gristmill blog questions:
1. What is the purpose of this blog?
2. Who are the readers for this blog?
3. Do you think that this blog effectively meets the needs of the intended audience? Provide some reasons and examples.
4. Consider the blogs organization. Was it easy to navigate? Enjoyable? Annoying? Explain.
5. Consider the reader comments to the blog post. What are some things you noticed? Is there a common “comment rhetoric”? Did you observe any undesirable comment behavior?
Assign homework and conclude class (2-3 mins)
Homework for Monday
Connection to Next Class
Next time, students will have all of the resources they need to create their blog for this assignment. The next class will focus on providing the synthesis students will need to make their own rhetorical choices in Assignment 2.