Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Assignment

Here is the assignment the students were given yesterday when they started to set up their blogs.

  • Writing 4-5 posts every week for the rest of the semester – the size of the post will vary depending on what you are saying. Sometimes it may be as simple as two or three sentences and a link and other times you may write six long paragraphs with many links, etc. I want to see a range of writing here.
  • Completing blog assignments when requested – for example, one week I may request that you post comments on a fellow student’s blog, or I may ask you do write a post that involves your own original reporting.
  • Sometimes I may ask you to go off topic on your blog or something may happen in your life, in the news, etc. and you want to comment on your blog, but for the most part, the goal is to stick to you topic.

    Ground rules
  • This is a journalism assignment – you must write with proper spelling, grammar, punctuation. has a spellcheck – use it!
  • No profanity – if a general newspaper doesn’t print it, than we don’t use it in this class.
  • No obscene photographs – no sexually explicit or violent images
  • No personal attacks

What I’m looking for …
I’m looking for a combination of writing styles on your blog.

  • Article Links: You should be reading local news Websites (the Globe, Herald, Phoenix, etc.).Write a few lines or paragraph about the article and then provide the reader with a link to that article. I will also be scanning the news for all of you and sending suggestions, but quite quickly I want to see your own initiative on this take off. Also, depending on your topic, there may be other sites you should be keeping an eye on and linking to them.
  • Reviews: This is where you can practice being a critic and write a review on something that is related to your blog topic.
  • Profiles: You research and write a profile about a person or group that is related to you topic. For example, you blog may be about the homeless and you do a profile on a local homeless shelter and link to their site.
  • Reporting: Original reported posts – for example, you do a Q&A interview with someone relevant to your topic, or you research and report a small story. You attend an event related to your topic and write about it.

Guidelines – I will hand out a list of guidelines such as how to you quote material from another Website or blog, the use of photos, etc. Remember that your blog is public – anyone can read it and post comments to you posts. Blogs are a free-form style compared to other media forms, but as we experiment with our blogs, we are also going to maintain journalism ethics and standards with the blogs in this class.


Grant said...

As a long-time, wannabe "armchair journalist," I find your use of the blogosphere creative. I will follow your and your students' efforts with interest! I surely will be able to learn something myself--without having to pay the outlandish tuition!

Grant said...

Addendum to this morning's post: It occurred to me later that, for additional didactical purposes, you might want your students to critique and/or edit my posts--from any angle they (or you) might wish. My skin is not thin, and I would welcome any and all comments/criticism.