You will write 10 blog posts throughout the semester and post them on our course blog. Your first 5 blog posts will be in response to specific prompts and they will have specific due dates (see the Course Calendar for due dates). The length of these posts will vary depending on the prompt. I will post each prompt to our course website and I will also send out an email to the class containing the prompt. To find the prompt if you lose the email, go to the Posts page, and, using the “Categories” right-hand sidebar menu, select the “Prompts” category. This will take you to a page where all of the posts that have been categorized as “Prompts” will appear. This first set of blog posts will be completed by Thursday, October 1.

After completing the first set of blog posts, you will become responsible for selecting your own topics to write about. Posts without an assigned prompt should concern a specific text or portion of a text, and they are due by class on the day we discuss that text or that portion of a text in class. They should be around 400-600 words. The second set of 5 posts must be completed by Tuesday, December 1.

There are a number of ways to approach this kind of blog post:

  • You can perform a mini-literary analysis of one passage from the day’s reading.
  • You can situate the reading among the other readings we’ve encountered in class.
  • You can write about an aspect of the day’s reading that you don’t understand, or something that jars you.
  • You can formulate an insightful question or two about the reading and then attempt to answer your own questions.
  • You can also link to an artifact outside of the course (news article, image, video clip, etc.) that is related to the readings and provide an explanation of what the artifact is and how it relates to the reading.

One thing you should always do, however, is be specific: focus your post on only one or two important aspects of that day’s reading. These posts should also be analytical rather than merely summative. This means you need to do more than simply write a plot summary; you need to offer some analytical insight. We will often discuss your blog posts in class — especially the first five blog posts — so you should come to class ready to discuss what you’ve written.

I will not grade your blogs; you will either receive full credit for completing the requirements for each post, or none at all. Each blog is worth 10% of your blogging grade (which is 15% of your course grade). You may not write more than two blog posts per week, and you may not make up missed blog posts. I do not accept late blog posts.

See “How to Post” for more information about how to post to the site.