Your Best Writing of the Semester
Because you have had several opportunities to draft and revise these posts, and because you have received feedback on them from both Jim and your classmates, your portfolio should be your best writing of the semester.
What you want to create here is something that you can share with employers (via a link on your resume), with college admissions or scholarship committees, or with anyone to whom you wish to demonstrate your writing and multi-media skills.
This means you want to carefully proofread and edit (read backwards, have a friend read out loud to you) and work on employing the style tips, sentence variety, and concision strategies we have been working on all semester.
You also want to make sure that you have met all of the criteria explained below -- focus, audience, style, blogification, and fair use of sources (having a works cited for any sources you do not have a link to).
Finally, make sure everything about your post is technically polished: the image appears as you wish it to, all of the links open in new windows (and work!), and your embedded video appears and functions as it should.
As a final guide to excellence, let me offer one of the best portfolios from last semester as an example: Amy's portfolio. I know, I know, that Amy person again! But I really think you will find her portfolio a helpful guide.
Use these instructional videos to walk through the basics of setting up your account and creating your first blog posts.
Criteria for Evaluation
You will find the instructions for each blog post in blackboard. But the general criteria by which I will evaluate blog posts are as follows:
1. Content: Answering the Guiding Question
Your post should respond to the prompt (in blackboard) and demonstrate that you have read and thought about the text you discuss. Be sure to have a sentence in your post that directly answers the guiding question and then make sure that everything else presented in the post supports that answer.
Blogs are written for the general public. Have you written yours in a way that someone outside of the course would understand? Do not, for example, assume that the reader has read or hear of the book or reading you are discussion.
3. Optimized style:
Quotes should be smoothly integrated into your discussion. You should write concisely, using active verbs and a range of sentence structures and techniques. The piece should have few or no grammar and punctuation errors. For help on this element of blog writing, consider visiting the style link at the top of this blog.
The silly made up word, "blogify" refers to using the tools of blogging to make your post more visually engaging and multimodal
a. Links: Each post should have links (at least three but no more than six) including to things like information about texts and writers, more information about interesting terms and concepts, or connections to related resources and sites. You should never link a reader to a wikipedia post. Take the time to find material that goes beyond the easy and the obvious.With good research, you can find some genuinely interesting material to link your readers to.
b. Images: Use at least one image to visually liven up your post. If you take the image from somewhere else, cite the image in your works cited and provide a link to it. Try to find images that match the idea or concept you are talking about--the point you are trying to make--rather than the text you are discussiong. Google searches for terms related to your idea are a good tool for finding interesting images.
c. Videos: Look for interesting related videos on the web and embed them in your post (one is enough!). Youtube, of course, is a good place to start, but Ted Talks and other places are also good sources. Use the embed functions in the blog to add your video to your post. You should also provide a works cited entry for any videos you connect to.
5. Works Cited
On blogs, you may use links as an informal form as citation as long as the link takes the reader to the page on which you found an image, video, link, or text in a way that makes the original source clear. If you do not have a link to someting referenced on your page (a book, an article, a film, etc.) then you must provide an MLA citation in a works cited list for that source. For guidance on works cited issues, revisit our old favorite, the library's MLA page.
Blogifying with a Purpose