There are three parts to the blogging portion of your grade: 1) two full posts 2) serving as a discussion leader 3) commenting on others’ posts.
- What to do in your posts:
While reading this novel, each student will be required to write two 300-500 word posts on one night’s assigned reading. Responses should be posted no later than 7pm the day before our class meeting to ensure all class members have time to view the response.
- Provide an interpretation (close reading) of a certain aspect of the text: you may focus on a certain section of the text or a certain theme; you don’t have to account for the text in its entirety.
- Point us to a particular passage or part of the text you’d like to focus on.
- Try to stick closely to the text, its language, and concerns, images, characters represented in the text (as opposed to writing about the author, historical/social context, etc).
- Raise or attempt to answer challenging questions.
- Use specific examples from the text.
- Pay attention to spelling, grammar, punctuation, word choice, and proofreading.
You may also:
- Make connections between the text and another text we have read for class.
- Connect the text to a contemporary theme or issue.
- Include images or video if applicable.
What NOT to do:
- Provide a summary of the plot: we’ve all read the text (or were supposed to); we don’t need you to repeat to us what happened.
- Focus entirely on outside information: while you may want to make connections to another text, the main focus of your post should be YOUR analysis of the reading itself.
- You open yourself to legal action if you break the law by stealing someone else’s ideas and posting them as your own. Remember, these documents are live on the web and intellectual theft is no joke!
2) Discussion Leader
Additionally, one student assigned to post for the day will be the informal leader of our class discussion that day.
A successful discussion leader will:
- Have read the other blog posts for the day, and any comments already posted.
- Have prepared a 5 minute presentation drawing on your reading and the blog posts to introduce the reading and start our discussion.
- Be prepared with 3-5 thought-provoking discussion questions. These questions shouldn’t be fact-based, or have simply “yes” or “no” answers, but rather get readers thinking critically.
Students will be expected to comment on the blog at least three times throughout the reading. These should be substantive comments–a full paragraph or two in length–that respond specifically to the posts, rather than a simple “great job!” or “I agree!” These should be spread out throughout the reading, and not posted on a day you are assigned to write a primary post.
There are a number of ways to approach these open-ended posts: consider the reading in relation to its historical or theoretical context; write about an aspect of the day’s reading that you don’t understand, or something that jars you; formulate an insightful question or two about the reading and then attempt to answer your own questions; or respond to another student’s post, building upon it, disagreeing with it, or re-thinking it.