[This is written by Madelyn Brakke, a student in English 203 in Winter 2012.]
When Dr. Ullyot first told our English 203 class that we would be writing blog posts for the course I was a little sceptical. I had never read many blogs, let alone write one. Iâ€™ll admit, my first blog post was a little rough, however with each post I began to get a feel for the unique style of writing required for blogs. I also came up with a quick guide to writing blogs, that I hope you will find helpful.
1 / Be Yourself
I remember at the beginning of the course Dr. Ullyot mentioned that the writing style of blogs should be similar to having a conversation with a friend. Use a tone similar to how you would speak to a friend. Each blog should be as original as the individual writing it. Make your stories relatable to the course: new and exciting information you learned, what you are struggling with, and how the course is going. This being said, donâ€™t forget to keep it classy. We donâ€™t need to hear your entire life story, or what you ate for breakfast this morning (save that for Facebook and Twitter).
2 / Make it Interesting
The tone of a blog shouldnâ€™t be the same as an academic essay. It should include personal stories, humour and images. Know the audience you are writing for and engage them within your post. Relating pop culture, media, and current events will always create a more interesting post. Add links to websites and other blogs. It is a great way to expand your information without having to rewrite it.
3 / Stick to the point
Every post will have a topic for you to base your blog on. Decide what you want to say, and say it. Make clear and concise points (lists, bullets, and headings are very effective for this) and then expand. Pictures donâ€™t always need to be funny or clever. I found screenshots to be very helpful when trying to explain steps I followed, and charts/graphs were great when trying to explain a concept or idea. Since these blogs are more academic then most, make sure to create a clear context for your post and follow it throughout.
Some final words of advice:
- Donâ€™t forget the basics! Spelling, grammar, and punctuation should always be #1 on your list.
- Read the other blogs on the site. If you are struggling with something in class chances are you are not alone. Feel free to vent about this (to a certain degree) in your blog. Other students and Dr. Ullyot will be more than happy to help.
- Comment, comment, comment! You get out of blogging what you put into it; comments are a great way to engage as a class and further your knowledge.
- Quality over quantity! As long as you are fulfilling the minimum word count and answering the main points, you will succeed. Each post doesnâ€™t have to be a short novel.
- Donâ€™t overthink it. Write whatâ€™s on your mind. Then take the time to go back and edit.
- Have fun! Writing blog posts shouldnâ€™t feel like work. I can honestly say I looked forward to writing posts each week, and so should you.
Good luck and happy blogging!