Professional Reading Blog

Part 1 of Writing For The Web.

Type: Individual

Overview


Blogs as a genre are more informal and immediate than most other forms of professional writing. The purpose of this assignment is to use that informality, as well as the capacity for linking to a variety of online media, to think reflectively about current trends and topics being discussed in the broader business world outside of class. You will engage more thoroughly with your own discipline and begin to establish your sense of authorship on the web.

The goal is to establish your “take” on the issues that currently affect your area(s) of interest.  You will choose online articles that intrigue you, then indicate why you find this article/issue interesting or relevant (chances are the rest of us will too).   What can you say about this particular topic?  Why should the rest of us sit up and take notice?  Most blog entries will begin with a short description of the article or issue, then offer your response to it.

Details


Topics: Topics within your major or field work best, but they don’t have to be – the purpose here is to show you are reading respected news sources and have intelligent things to say.  The guiding principle will be this:  Would you encourage potential employers or clients to read your blog entries?

What to Write: Identify the respected journal and news sources in your field.  The best way to do this is to ask your major professors what they read to keep up-to-date with their professions.  Using respected sources of information, explore one or more particular trends, explore the world at large, or chronicle an important project that you are working on.

Write at least 5 blog entries over several weeks (you will have most of the semester – PRB will be closed the last week of classes).    See Evaluation Criteria for exact requirements.   Make your entry so compelling that others will WANT to read it and comment on it.

Also write at least 5 comments on the blogs written by your fellow classmates.  Include additional links and/or visuals to deepen the discussion.  Comments should be at least 100 words.

Submit Your Posts:  In order for me to provide confidential evaluation information to you and keep all grading information in Canvas, please follow these steps:

  1. First, compose, design and post your blog entries on your website.  Publish your entries.  Write comments on your classmates’s websites.  Submit the comments for publication.
  2. Copy the url addresses of your posts and comments.
  3. Open the Canvas Professional Reading Blog discussion forum.  Click “New Post.”
  4. Paste the urls of your posts and comments into  the forum.  Make your link live and post it.

Check the Discussion Forum frequently for interesting blog entries from your fellow students.

Important: Post only two entries of any type per week.  “Weeks” are Wednesday to Wednesdays.  I will issue scores for the PRB assignment every Thursday morning.

Evaluation Criteria


The PRB Assignment is worth 15 total points.  Each blog entry is worth up to 2 points.  Each comment is worth up to 1 point.

Blog Posts (2 pts each):

All blog entries must include all of the following:

  • Well-written, thoughtful discussion of at least one referenced text.
  • Highly accessible text, meaning prominently-placed main points, logical and obvious organization and short paragraphs.
  • At least one visual.  Visuals should be appropriately captioned and/or explained (unless they are obviously decorative).  Visuals should be linked to their original sources.
  • At least two headings (in addition to an interesting title).
  • At least one content link.  Links should be included wherever you would normally cite a source.  Link out from words in the text – avoid pasting in a complete url.
  • Fewer than two grammar/style errors.
  • At least 250 words.

Note:  Videos can count as either a content link or a visual – but not both in the same post.

Comments (1 pt each):

In order to receive the point, comments should be thoughtful, insightful, non- confrontational and at least 100 words.  Value-added comments will include links to other articles discussing a similar topic.

Extra Credit


After the entire assignment is completed (5 blog entries and 5 comments), you may write additional postings for extra credit.  Any extra credit will be added to your final PRB grade.

Here’s how they will be scored:

Correct blog entries are worth an extra .05 each; correct comments, an extra .025 each.  Note: Extra credit entries do not “make up” for low scores on original entries/comments.

For example – say you were able to achieve 12 points on your first five entries and five comments.  Say you also completed 2 additional entries and 1 additional comment. Your total PRB score would then be 12.125.

Remember: I will accept only two postings, of any sort, per week (even extra credit!).  Also: Extra credit blogs or comments do not “make up” for points missed on earlier posts.

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