Set up a blog for the class. You can set up a free blog via WordPress or Blogger or through another blog hosting service. I would encourage you to blog under your real name (even if it's just your first name), but I also understand if you'd like to blog more anonymously under a nom de plume. If you have any serious objections to sharing your work online, please email me or meet with me after class, and we can discuss other options if necessary.
Blog posts provide us with an opportunity to write more casually than we would with a traditional term paper, while still being thoughtful in our communications. These posts offer an opportunity to reflect on readings, analyze primary sources, practice creating and integrating visualizations, raise questions, and discuss class topics outside of the classroom.
One of the ways we learn is from the thoughts and experiences of others. I cannot force you to read your classmates' blogs, but I can encourage you that this is one of the best ways to find new ways of approaching these materials and to expand your own creativity and worldview.
Despite the more casual nature of blogs, I still expect you to responsibly cite materials, proofread your writing, and be thoughtful and structured in your writing.
Please note that there are several types of blogging assignments: weekly blog posts, "big" blog posts, two campus event blog posts, and we will also use them in class sometimes to share content, ideas, and other materials with your peers. Requirements for each will vary and be sure to consult the guidelines for each individual blogging assignment.
Write for your peers as colleagues, as well as for a public audience.
To increase your proficiency and comfort at analyzing primary sources and practicing using the digital tools we learn about in class
To engage with the public, including your peers, in offering thoughtful responses to historical materials
To gain experience and comfort in blogging and digital communication
To provide regular opportunities for synthesis, writing, and historical analysis in the classroom.
Rubrics vary by blogging assignment, but will be generally assessed on quality of writing, integration of sources, and professionalism (tone, citations, proofreading). Weekly blog posts will also assess a particular skill, and big blog posts will consider how interesting/innovative the content is.