Introduction to Blogging

As my last post indicated, this is the course blog for GSWS 322/CINE 322: Queer & Feminist Film Studies.

What is a Blog?

A blog (short for web log) is an easy-to-modify website that lets authors (you all and me) post short entries. Blogs also offer the ability for viewers or authors to comment on blog posts (a feature that we will be using extensively). On the blog, the most recent entries appear at the top of the screen. Check out this video by Common Craft for further explanation of what a blog is and why they matter.

Blogs can be private (only authors and invited others can read the blog) or public (anyone with the Internet can read them by going to the url). This course blog is PUBLIC, which means anyone can read our posts and follow any links that we embed.

Because this blog is PUBLIC it will remain online after this class is over. Do not post any names, personal information, language, photos, or material that you do not want current and future employers, partners, family, friends, professors, or co-workers to associate with you. I encourage you to choose a WordPress username that is not the same as your legal name or PennKey–just make sure to send me your selected username so that I may give you credit for your work.

Following this blog:

In addition to your posts on course material, I’ll be using this blog for course announcements and information, so you should make sure to check it regularly. There are two easy ways to do this:

1. Save this blog to your “Favorites” or “Bookmarks” in your web browser. Then make sure to check the blog on a regular basis. The problem with this option is that you must remember to check it.

2. Subscribe to the blog’s RSS feed in an RSS reader of your choice. For a very short and thorough explanation of what an RSS feed is, check out this video by CommonCraft. I use Google Reader as my RSS reader, and if you don’t already have one, I recommend this one because it is very easy to navigate. The CommonCraft video shows you how to link a blog to Google Reader too, which is helpful.

What constitutes a good blog post?

Three times during the semester you’ll be posting a blog entry in response to a prompt that I will post. Your blog entry should address all parts of the prompt and draw together material from our course readings, cultural productions/visual media, and class discussions.

While posted online, blog entries for this class should be written in a professional tone and include complete and syntactically correct sentences as well as academically appropriate spelling, punctuation, and citations (in other words, the same things as if you were turning in these posts as papers in class). Check the Public Contributions assignment page for a grading rubric.

You will be graded on how thoroughly you address the prompt, your citation and analysis of the course materials, and your writing (including clarity, grammar, and organization).

In each blog post, you will link to one online cultural production that you find on your own–this may be a YouTube video, blog post from another blog, audio recording, website, news story, photograph, etc. You should make sure to explain in your post what that cultural production is, who produced it (proper citations, remember?), and how it relates to the prompt and the rest of your post. In other words, integrate that cultural production into your post and analyze it, the same way you would cite and analyze a sentence from a scholarly article.

To get an idea of blog posts that follow all of these instructions and serve as great examples of what you’ll be doing, check out some previous course blogs from my classes:

If you have any questions about using the course blog, just let me know. Happy blogging!

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