Assignments for Next Week: Blog Impressions & Finding Issues


March 9, 2013 by Jackie Hoermann-Elliott


In a TED Talk we'll watch later in the Mediation Unit, Kathryn Schulz gives a speech on why she thinks it's okay to be wrong sometimes.

In a TED Talk we’ll watch later in the Mediation Unit, Kathryn Schulz gives a speech on why she thinks it’s okay to be wrong sometimes.

Although we won’t be meeting in person this coming week, I want to keep you flexing those writerly muscles (or thoughts, perhaps), and to do that, I’m assigning two short blog posts. My intention with this is not to give you “busy work;” I don’t like wasting students’ time. These posts were ones we were going to do in class–the first in the past, the second in the future–but time was/ is always escaping us. What better way to incorporate them than now?

Assignment #1:
Visit the sites of your fellow bloggers and look at the visual presentation they’ve set up (get links here). Consider the colors they use, the text they’ve included to describe themselves and their interests. You might also analyze images they’ve included, posts they’ve written, etc. After you’ve spent a few minutes flipping through their blog content, the next step is simple. Write down, in one word, if possible, what they’re “brand” is. How are they selling themselves? How does their packaging/ branding make them appear to you as a reader? Essentially, what’s the thesis-statement impression they leave you with? The purpose of this activity is to get you sampling the work other people are doing and make you more aware of the impressions web sites can leave on people. Remember, everything’s an argument.

Assignment #2:

Write a blog post on four controversial issues, giving four descriptions about each issue you’ve selected. Tell me why each issue is controversial? What makes it difficult to resolve? Is the issue a timely and relevant one? Has it been in the news a lot lately? Or is it an older one that keeps cropping up, never seeming to go away? And finally, why do you think that is? Are there two sides to the issue and what specifics do they debate most frequently? Of the four issues you choose, I want two to be ones that you think would be good to mediate in-person, as a whole class, and two to be ones you could potentially write about in the Mediated Argument Unit we’ll be starting after break. This is good practice for mediating issues and understanding why they become so irresolvable. (Read more about the next unit here or see a visual depiction of a mediation by clicking here.)

You have some time to do these posts, they aren’t “due” until the end of our Thursday class period (9:20 a.m. on March 14th). I won’t be hounding you to turn these in or checking them right away since I’ll be busy at a conference, but since WordPress timestamps everything, it’s in your best interest to follow through with them on time. Consider using regular class time to complete this activity, albeit getting it done earlier is always recommended.

Hope you have a great week, folks. Remember, even thought I’m away and busy, I’m still connected, so feel free to email with questions. I’m always excited to hear from you about your progress and writing process.


Ms. H


One thought on “Assignments for Next Week: Blog Impressions & Finding Issues

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