Writing blog posts as assignments for classes is, to most, a foreign concept. Raised from the standard depths of five paragraph essays complete with an introduction, body paragraphs, a conclusion, and to the point of a concise thesis, some are intimidated by the idea of writing anything different. Well, fear not! Blog posts are fundamentally very similar to the standard essay that many of us have written time and time again. Like essays, your posts have a reader, and you introduce, explain, and conclude your topic of discussion. The only differences are that, in an online community, your posts do not just have a reader, but they haveÂ readers,Â whom will all be interested in what you have to say because you will explain and explore your ideas. How do I know they will be interested, you ask? Here’s how:
The Beauty of a Blog Post
As an english major, I can safely say from ample experience, that essays are boring. I won’t knock the idea of a purposeful essay, because it can do wonders in explanatory power. However, after days of pumping out paper after paper, the structured, rigid, and restrained nature of essays tend to scramble the mind. The beauty of blog postsÂ then, is that you are free. The fact of the matter is that in an essay, you find that you can’t always say exactly what you want to say, how you want to say it.
In a blog post, you talk about what you want to talk about. Yes, in a classroom environment you follow a designated topic or train of thought, but it is an assignment of personality. You can say what you want, how you would normally say it with a touch of wit, a hint of humour, an interesting anecdote, all derived from your own experience.
The people who come across your blog post are those people who are interested and curious about what you have to say, and what your post is about. If they’re reading your post, chances are they are looking for some insight on what you went through, and the differences between what you thought, and what they thought.
Your Post, Your Words
When you go through the processes of writing a blog post for a class, it will prove beneficial to keep a record of all your thoughts in the research or ‘formative’ stages of the post. Whilst going through the beginning stages, many of you, if not all of you, will have little individual sentiments that pop into your mind. “I’m so confused,” for example, happened to be one that popped into my head more frequently than I had hoped. Believe me when I say that this is not as devastating as it seems in the beginning. This actually proves to be a good start for a blog post! Other thoughts that popped into my mind were, “I wonder what this will do” and “um, what just happened?” Confusions are, as frustrating as they are, actually are a good start to writing a good blog post! Chances are, that you aren’t the only person out of the many people doing the same thing, that didn’t understand something.
Something else that I think is great about blog posts, is that there is no ‘works cited’ page at the end of the essay. That part of essay writing, I think, is the part that a great many of us leave for last. In a blog post, the works cited pages function through the ‘hyperlink-ing‘ of pages that were referred to, and expanding on what knowledge was gained from them. In other words, the works cited process in a blog post is not a long arduous list of names and titles with specific places for brackets, periods, dates, and commas.
Another element that contributes to the interesting aspects of the blog post, is the ability to add screenshots and various images that may help structure your ideas. This is one way to keep the reader of your post not only interested, but aware of exactly what you are referring to in that portion of your blog post. As you find and read blog posts, perhaps even Dr. Ullyot’s posts, the use of screenshots and addition of images in his posts to help guide the process of understanding are of huge assistance.
I believe that the most effective part of a blog post, is the idea that you are allowed, and encouraged, to write based on your own experiences. Whether those experiences be positive, negative, confusing, frustrating, or liberating, to the person who is searching up your blog post in order to read on what experiences you went through, they are all interesting and relevant. So, remember what you go through, remember what you think as you go through it, write about it in your blog, and show an image capturing what you thought. This is not an essay, so remember…it’s okay to be honest.