A quick overview of the editing process

There seems to be some confusion over the editing process, so hopefully this will help clear it up. It skips the finer details, but takes you through the basic operations.

I hope this helps!

1 comment Posted in  Uncategorized May 4, 2010

A Quick Clarification on Grading

I’m sure these questions will come up, so let me just make try to clarify how grading for the entire project will work. There are two types of assessment that will be happening:

  1. Assessment of your total project. This includes the evaluation of the items included on the “Grading” page of your blogs.
    • Total value: 50% of your marking period grade
  2. Weekly assessment. This is an assessment of how effectively you’re using the time in class to work on your posts, meet your project goals, help out classmates, and in general successfully complete the project.
    • Total value: 20 pts/week

If you have any questions feel free to ask!

1 comment Posted in  Tips May 3, 2010

How do I write a quality post?

I have high expectations for you, but you have ridonculous (yes, with a “C!”) talent. This project is a great opportunity to share you ridonculous talents with the world since much of our learning will be public. Writing for a blog is a slightly different experience that requires a slightly different format than other forms of writing. While I’m not an expert, let me share some tips and suggestions for picking a topic and writing a blog post.

What do I write about?

That’s up to you. My suggestion is to go through your feeds in Google Reader and look for posts, videos, and pictures that you find interesting or intriguing. Follow links that sound promising in your Reader and see what you find. You can also do a quick post reflecting on how your perspective on a certain issue has changed, or how your knowledge has increased, or maybe write a post responding to one of your classmates’ posts in more detail.

Example. Recently I was cruising through my Climate Change feeds and hit found a post suggesting that it might be a better idea to light an oil spill on fire instead of try to clean it up. I found that a little shocking so I read through the article. It explained the pros & cons of various ways you can clean up the oil spill. I found myself considering what I though to be the best option. This is a great lead-in to a blog post: I could give a super-quick overview of the issue (don’t rewrite the original post, just link to it), then explain what I think should be done. Or maybe I’d write about why I think it’s a good or bad idea to be drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

Making it excellent

A few quick tips for making posts that are interesting, engaging, and of high quality:

Use hyperlinks. If you’re referring to a certain article or video online, be sure to drop a link in your post to that article (like I did above referring to the article about burning the oil slick). You can also drop links to related stories. A quick example: Imagine I write a post about retreating glaciers. Maybe I’ll include a sentence like this: “One way scientists are studying glaciers is through organizations like the Extreme Ice Survey, which leaves remote time-lapse cameras that record amazing images of the changing glaciers.” The links add depth and helps the reader find more information about the topic.

Include images. People like to look at pictures. Eye-catching (yet relevant) images can grab people’s attention and as a result get more people to react to your posts. Just be sure to drop in image credits that include a hyperlink to the page that hosted the image. I generally put image credits at the end of the post- check out the end of this post to see how I usually format my image credits.

Break it up. Add headings and break up your text into smaller chunks. A huge block of unbroken text just looks boring. I designed this post as an example of how you can break up the text to make it a little easier on the eyes.

Engage your readers. The ability for others to respond to your posts is something that makes putting your thoughts and ideas online powerful. You can increase the engagement of your readers by requesting their input. Ask for their opinion on the topic, or maybe have them vote on something (use Google Forms, natch). Another great way to keep readers engaged is to respond to the comments people leave on your post.

Don’t be afraid. Hitting the submit button on a post can be a bit scary. It can take some time to get into the groove of writing posts, but as you go along you’ll get better at clearly communicating your thoughts.

I’m excited to read all your posts and hear your thoughts on the many various issues that surround the topic of climate change!


Image credit: NASA via Treehugger.com

Add comment Posted in  Tips April 28, 2010

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