Critical Readings/HW

For 2/3: (1) Finish “About Me” post if not complete (2) Finish commenting on three of your classmates’ posts if not complete. (3) Send an e-mail to me at with a 250-word answer to the following questions: In your own words, what is a blog? What is your experience with reading and writing blogs? And what do you hope to achieve by the end of this course? (4) Look at some of the example blogs I posted (under “Instructor Posts” category) and brainstorm three possible topics for your personal blog. Be ready to share in the next class.

For 2/10: (1) Read “Why I Blog” by Andrew Sullivan and be prepared to discuss. (2) First two blog posts on your personal blog (3) Finish any outstanding work from class.

For 2/17: (1) Write a rough thesis statement for your final paper and post on the course blog by next Monday – put in category “Final Paper Thesis Statements” (see Tips for Writing Thesis Statements if you’re lost) (2) Read “How the Internet Created an Age of Rage” (3) Leave one comment per blog by your classmates (you can use your RSS reader or WordPress reader to see all the blogs) (4) Finish any outstanding work from class

For 2/24: (1) Post your first annotated bibliography (see here for a refresher/explanation OR look at examples from past students). Make sure to include in category “Annotated Bibs.” (2) Comment on the two course blog posts presented in class. (3) Read “Creative Commons Is Rewriting Rules of Copyright” (4) Read the Wikipedia entry for “editorial calendar” and find one article or blog post online about how a blogger used an editorial calendar to improve his/her blogging. Be prepared to share your findings.

For 3/3: (1) Revise thesis statement if needed and post second annotated bibliography. (2) Comments on the two course blog posts presented in class. (3) Read “Tips for Laying Out Blog Posts” and “10 Blog Layout Tips” (4) If you weren’t in class today, or you want a recap of Lee’s talk, I made a recording of it that you can download.

For 3/10: (1) Comment on two course blog posts present in class. (2) Write a two-page (double spaced and printed) critique of your partner’s blog – include writing, layout, content, etc. (3) Read “The Typewriter: Into the Age of Iron Whim” (4) Post third annotated bibliography

For 3/24: (1) Comment on two course blog posts about McLuhan passage. (2) Comment on three of your classmates’ personal blog posts (3) For your partner’s fairy tale from class, adjust the fonts throughout the Microsoft Word document to match the tone and mood. Print completed story and bring to class. (4) Read “The Rise of Crowdsourcing” by Jeff Howe (5) Post fourth annotated bibliography

For 3/31: (1) Comment on Ricky and Mahd’s course blog posts. (2) Read “Life as Instant Replay, Over and Over Again” (3) Post fifth annotated bib

OPTIONAL EXTRA CREDIT EVENT: We will be holding a screening and discussion on the Spike Jonze film Her (2013) on Friday, April 4 in Murray Hall, Room 302 from 12-3.  This film raises interesting questions about our digital lives and the ways we form relationships through virtual communication tools. If you attend and wrote a one-page (double-spaced) response about your impressions and reactions, you can get a pass for one personal blog post.

For 4/7: (1) Comment on Carla and Mike’s course blog posts. (2) Read “Guest Blogging: A Beginner’s Guide” and “7 Essential Ingredients for a Successful Collaborative Blog” (3) Post sixth annotated bib (last one)

For 4/14: (1) Comment on Pat and Angelina’s course blog posts (2) What’s a “curator“? Check out the blog “Brainpickings” as an example of a blogger who would probably refer to herself as a “curator.” In your own words – what’s a curator, and what role does this person play in society/culture? Do you think bloggers can be curators? Answer this question in a two-page, double-spaced and printed response. Please use examples to support your argument. (3) Read “Research Reveals Popularity of Live Blogging

For 4/21: (1) Read “Your Blog or Mine?” and be prepared to discuss. (2) Comment on three course blog posts. DUE 4/21: MANDATORY rough draft of five-page final paper (MLA FORMAT PLEASE) with at least three sources e-mailed to

For 4/28: (1) Read “The Blogger’s Guide to SEOEXTRA CREDIT EVENT: Skip last week of blogging if you attend this event – “Secrets of Songwriting Workshop with Spook Handy” – and write one-page (double-spaced) response about how learning song-writing techniques can teach us to be better bloggers. Food will be provided.

For 5/5: FINAL ESSAYS DUE. (See this checklist before handing in). Essay should be printed out and ready to hand in next class. Be prepared to speak about your essay for at least two minutes.

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