Just to remind you that next week, you should be writing your first themed post. This assignment is basically an invitation to stretch your writing muscles and explore a topic (of your choosing, related to the subject of your blog) and to use some of the web-writing strategies we’ve been discussing in class.
Remember, the rules of good writing apply in a web context – only moreso. Varied and lively sentences with active verbs and well-chosen adjectives are what we’re looking for. For SEO purposes, make sure that your first paragraph clearly states what the post is about – but don’t obsess over SEO. I’m more interested in reading a piece of writing that “works”. Flow, voice, and of course the canniness of your observations are what matter here.
Most of all,get drawn in to what you’re writing about – tell a story – and the reader will want to follow.
While writing, please make sure, above all, that you remember to ask yourselves these questions: Why am I the one who is best able to write this? Who am I writing for? What makes my point of view unique?
Have a great week! We’ll be workshopping these in class on Oct 28. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.
I’m pleased to announce that we will have a guest speaker tonight, instead of our regularly scheduled programming.
Michael Boyle’sblog, mikel.org, was one of the first blogs in Montreal.
Once a professional political theorist, he is now a full-time professional media expert and blogger. He’ll tell us all about the theory of web media, and also give practical, hands-on advice for advanced wordpress wizardry.
I’ll still be expecting to look at your Top 5/aggregate listicles this week, and your first themed post of your blog are still due in 2 weeks (next week is Thanksgiving).
Please – send me the links to your blogs so I can make a blogrol page on the class blog.
See you all tonight;
Here are a few thoughtful blogs on many random topics. Good writing can come from anywhere and be about anything you can imagine.
She’s a writer, and here’s her post about Writer’s Block. Can anyone relate?
A food blog for thinking people, with a real sense of place: New Orleans
I know I said I don’t want any posts longer than 1000 words, but the point of this collection of posts is that they’re longer than 1000 words.
On the challenges of writing “truth”
Daily prompts from WordPress:
Two blogs about salt intake I’ve worked on (to prove that blogs can really be about anything!)
And the famous Tourisme Montreal blog:
…and one about salt intake
And one more:
WRITING FOR THE WEB /CEJN 144/A1
INSTRUCTOR: Melora Koepke
LOCATION, DATE, TIME: Room CL235, Monday, 18:00 – 20:00
This class will give students a practical understanding of techniques and approaches for writing for the web and other Internet formats and social media.
For the class, students will be responsible for the creation of their own WordPress blog, and will post all assignments in the context of this blog. Students will also be responsible for the creation and use of their own Twitter account.
PRESENTATION OF MATERIAL:
The material will be presented through in-class workshopping of student writing posted to their blogs. Each student will also present their own blog work to the class twice during the session: Once in class 2 and once in class 10. There will also be guest speakers and additional assignments. Students are responsible for taking notes during each class and completing all assignments on time as instructed. If they are absent during class, they are responsible for collecting class notes and assignments from another student (i.e. NOT emailing me and asking me to write them a personalized essay about what transpired in the class they missed.
Finally, one major element of Web writing is to share and network with others– students are expected to pay attention to each other and to their classmates’ work, and to give constructive feedback during class and via the web.
Class 1/September 16
Introduction to the course, subject matter overview.
Homework: Create and name your blog + research your counterparts on the web.
Class 2/ September 23
In-class discussion: Writing for blog posts, intro to editorial perspective, writers’ “voice”.
Each student will present their blog to the class and discuss five related blogs written by others that they’ve found on the web.
Assignment 1: About page.
Class 3/September 30
In-class discussion: Understanding how readers read on the web + implications for web writing styles.
Guest Speaker: TBA (Advanced WordPress)
Workshop: Assignment 1 – About page
Assignment 2: Blog post – Aggregate/Top 5
Class 4/ October 7
Workshop: Assignment 2
Assignment 3: Themed blog post I
October 14 – THANKSGIVING – No class
October 21 – No class (Melora at a conference)
Class 5/October 28
In-class discussion: Writing blog posts / articles for the web. Your web presence as a writer.
Assignment 4: Quick guide – Explain an area of expertise in a blog post.
Homework: Establish your blog’s social media presence, think about strategies to share/promote your blog in preparation for guest speaker in class 6.
Class 6/November 4
Workshop: Assignment 4.
Assignment 5: Blog post - Profile/Q + A
Class 7/November 11
Workshop: Assignment 5
In-class discussion: A layered approach to writing for the web
Assignment 6: Themed blog post #2
Class 8/November 18
Workshop: Assignment 6
Assignment 7: Blog post (breaking news) + social media cross-promotion
In-class discussion: Features - Expanding and refining writing techniques.
Class 9/November 25
Workshop: Assignment 7
Assignment 8: Feature blog post, incl photos, source review, links etc
In-class discussion: Line-editing
Student in-class presentations
Wrap-up + conclusion: Where do we go from here?
TEXTS AND READINGS:
Some required reading will be assigned during class sessions, and will be posted on the class blog. Additional reading and research is expected of all students, to be detailed in class.
Students’ work during the term will be evaluated on the following basis:
7 x 10% each = 70%
Feature post: 15 %
Class participation (incl. social media, seminar feedback, class presentations, etc.) = 15%.
Students’ participation during classroom sessions is highly encouraged. You are expected to read ahead and come to class ready to discuss the previous week’s work and other pertinent issues.