Revising and Shaping your Blog
The following assignment helps student’s understand the structure, categories and criteria for their blogs:
Revising Your Blog:
So far this term we have used our blogs as repositories – or containers. Although we have made some attempts to individualize them, they are mostly for the audience of this class. As we move to our final revisions we are shifting our rhetorical focus to include new audiences, purposes and contexts. Your final assignment in the class is to revise your blog to meet this new rhetorical situation. It is my hope that once you have your blog organized it will be a place for you to continue to build as you progress through your work here at the university.
Shaping your Rhetorical Situation
Purpose: All of your blogs obviously display the work you have done it the class. They will also serve as a place for you to post your thoughts and ideas and your academic assignments. You also have the opportunity to shape your blog for your own additional purposes that are important to you and are interesting for your audience. Although we will have similar categories, your blog should reflect a distinct, individual identity and purpose. It will also be up to you to make this a usable space that you might continue to add your work as a “working writer” as you continue to write in school and in your life. Create a space for your blog to evolve.
Audience: Our new audience is a public one. We are moving out of our classroom community. It will include: Friends, family, students, professors, campus community, general public.
Context: It is your job as a writer to compose context for your audience. This means writing about the purposes of your blog and the sections and individual assignments. Here you will also establish the voice and the tone of your blog. It also means that you should include attributed sources and references. This will take the form of introductory writing (on your home page and sections) to purposeful captions on your images and contextualized links.
Required Categories: (Order and category names are up to you – get creative and connect to your purposes)
**Note: You will need to write a purpose/context statement for each of your sections to create context for your audience about what they will find in that section.
Static Landing/Home Page: This opening page communicates the identity and purposes and categories of the blog. It Should include a detailed opening statement and images that welcomes your audience and makes them aware of your purpose and identity. Here is where you also set up a clear hierarchy of navigation to your other sections.
Exploratory Blog Assignments with embedded images (500- 800 words each): This is the section in which you include exploratory blog posts that reveal your observations, reflections and developing ideas. You should set up this section like a typical blog format in which the most recent post appears at the top. Name this section something that represents that kind of informal, reflective thinking. You can also go back and revise and edit your posts to incorporate what we have come to value in this kind of writing (writing to think and learn, substantiation, voice, balance between narration and exposition, etc.). As you revise this section, consider how it is laid out on the page. Work with designing engaging opening paragraphs or mini abstracts and add read more links for visual appeal. We also talked about linking within your post to outside resources, connections and sites. Make sure to link ethically and follow guidelines.
- Contextualized Assignments from other classes at the university (at least 2 – Include representative image)
- Extended Feature Article connected to/related to your major area of study (final draft to be uploaded upon completion)
- Digital Projects (Literacies timeline, badge, Lifehacks, etc. – this can be its own section if you want to break it out) . You should contextualize each project to explain its significance. Make sure to incorporate your author’s statement from your literacies timeline project.
Contextualized Links and Resources: Meaningful, thoughtfully selected Connections that you want to pass on to your audience. Make sure they are properly attributed.
Image Gallery: A gallery of purposefully captioned image assignments and images of your own choosing. Arrange them so they are easy to read and clustered according to theme or assignment. You might have to play around with themes or connect to outside photo sharing apps to get the best viewing.
About me: Compose an engaging profile/bio – including image to humanize your blog. Keep your purposes in mind as you compose this section. You can include links to your social media here or on your home page. There should also be a place for people to contact you.
Categories of your own choosing: This is a place or places for you to explore additional interests. You can do whatever you want with this section.
Rhetorical Criteria: Consider following criteria to revise your blog:
- Distinct Blog Title
- Sense of a real person
- About me space (including author photo and human description)
- Overall visual appeal
- Clean (not distracting)
- White space
User Friendliness (Audience)
- Amount of text showing and read more links
- Readable – scannable
- Headlines and titles
- Archives and hierarchy
- URL to match Blog title
Reading Enjoyment (Content is King)
- Careful editing – get help if you can’t do this yourself.
- Resources/Links – supplemental list
- Link abundantly – within posts
- Image Captions
- Tags and Keywords