Thoughts from the front lines

Post Guidelines

Blog posts typically offer varying degrees of information, opinion, food for thought, and analysis, in a way that feels conversational and invites response. The goal for your blog posts is to do all that while exploring a specific topic connected to the books we reading. Posts can take different forms: you can offer an extended reflection on something read for class (i.e., direct response to the novels), or you can connect issues that are present in the MaddAddam trilogy to the world outside our classroom (news items, something you saw on your way home, new developments in science, business, or technology, something from the realms of art, history, music, politics, etc.). The goal is to get people involved in your exploration of course materials and their connection to our lives and the world we live in.

Each post, worth 7%, should run about 300-400 words and include add-ins to enhance your reader’s understanding of your topic (e.g., links, images and/or video).

Posts should also

  • have a title that piques your readers’ interest
  • make clear how the topic connects to course material
  • be focussed on a particular issue or idea, and share your thinking about the issue or idea you’re exploring
  • be written in a less formal, non-academic style: your style should be aimed at engaging your peers or a general, blog-reading audience (so keep them in mind as you write or revise)
  • be proofread to catch typos, spelling errors, or other communication problems
  • look attractive
  • conclude with one or more questions for your reader
  • be tagged with the relevant book title (as category) and subjects/themes (as tags)

You’ll also be commenting on classmates’ posts. Comments (worth 6% total) should

  • show engagement with others’ thinking: add to, question, challenge or develop the argument and ideas expressed. Go deeper than “good point!”
  • be expressed in a non-troll fashion
  • run 60-140 words or more
  • be posted at regular intervals (see below).

This semester you will post two blog entries and six or more comments on other posts. Comments should be spread out as follows: at least one per month (i.e., February, March, and April 1-May 2nd), but at least three by March 20th and another three between March 21st -May 2nd. If you miss any of these deadlines, you will have missed the opportunity to earn those particular marks—there are no make-ups. Remember: this is a space for community reflection and idea-raising. Your timely participation makes that happen.

Process: Poke around on the interwebs to find some blogs of interest to you and get a sense of the range of blog style. You’ll notice that while blogs can convey opinion, information, analysis, and so on, they don’t sound like a typical CEGEP essay. Be ready to experiment.

A reminder that generally speaking, writing benefits from being seen by a first (even second, or third) reader who can give feedback before the work gets released into the wild. For this reason, you are strongly encouraged to see me to review your first blog post before you publish it, and you’re very welcome to consult about your second post as well.