In my Summer 2010 PRCA 2330 & PRCA 3330 classes, students have created their blogs and have started blogging. The blogs are worth a significant portion of the grades in these classes. Here are some tips for students based on me reading the initial blog posts.
3 Things Done Well
- You wrote conversationally.
- You spoke your minds.
- You backed up your assertions with examples.
5 Things to Watch Out For
- Typos: Avoid at all costs. WordPress has a spell checker that can catch many of your errors, but not all. (And if you see a typo on a classmate’s blog, why not contact the classmate to let him or her know?)
- Use proper English sentence case. (That means don’t write in all lower case. If you write “i” instead of “I,” it gives your blog a MySpace feel — not what you are looking for when starting a professional presence online.)
- Avoid LOL and other acronyms. (That’s fine for text messages and Twitter, but not for blog posts.)
- Long paragraphs: Especially when writing for the web, it’s important to keep your paragraphs short. Long paragraphs are hard on the eye and make things much more challenging to read.
- Create new Posts, not new Pages, for your assignments. (And if you already have your assignments on Pages, simply copy the text from the page, and add a new Post. Then delete the pages you do not need.)
3 Things to Try Next Time
- Though this may come across as sarcastic, read the blogging guidelines for your class. I offer very specific directions for due dates, length of posts (for TOWs and comments), format of the Blog Comments post, required widgets, etc. You’ll also want to watch the video I created for your class in my Wimba Office Hours room, if you haven’t already done so.
- When you mention a website, provide a hyperlink to the site. And be sure to use words, not the URL, as the link that your readers see.
- Consider adding a complementary image to your posts. I tend to find the images I use at Flickr, using the CompFight service to find ones that are licensed for use through Creative Commons.
As always, if you have questions . . .