Many cultural observers have heralded the great democratizing possibilities of the Internet, arguing that those who were once silenced by power and resource inequities can, at least theoretically, broadcast their voices and harness new media to organize and advocate. In this age of communication, rhetoric seems a powerful tool, indeed.
Blogging is one such way rhetors can get their message out there, whether they are advocating for political change, building interest communities, sharing experiences and information, or just having fun. Since most blogs are meant for an audience, blogging is an implicitly civic action. Because blogging intimately connects rhetorical practice to civic life and brings together written, oral, visual, and digital media, it’s an ideal activity for this course.
But enough about the world and this course–what about you? If you find yourself asking “Why am I blogging so much?” another pressing reason is–quite simply–that it improves your writing. In a 2010 study of blogging in LA 101H, Penn State’s forerunner to the current version of RCL,”intensive blogging,” which is what you are doing, was shown to improve student writing in all areas compared to occasional blogging. This makes sense. The more you practice reading and writing, the better you become.
RCL Blogging Assignment
For the Fall semester of Rhetoric and Civic Life, you will create two distinct blog categories: Your Passion Blog and RCL Blog. Your weekly entry for each of your two blog categories will be due before each class for a ten-session blogging period. We will spend some time in each class session reading and responding to one another’s blog posts. Indeed, thoughtful commenting on others’ blogs will be a significant component of your final blog grade.
Blogging details at a glance:
- Two blog categories to maintain: Passion (500 words per session) and RCL (300 words per session)
- Blogging runs for a 10-session period
- Blogs are due before each class session
- 50% of blog grade is participation; the other 50% is reserved for the quality of blog entries and commenting (View commenting guidelines in detail)