By Martyna Starosta
Take advantage of blog-assignments and improve your writing skills. Learn how to organize your thoughts and get your message across.
Remember that you are sharing your thoughts not only with your section leader and your classmates. Everybody can potentially access this blog online.
We are living in a time in which people’s attention span is pretty short. Gaining someone’s attention for two paragraphs becomes a serious challenge.
Intrigue your readers:
– Give your post a provocative title and add a catchy image.
– Start with an compelling opening sentence.
– Be specific: provide examples.
– Be concise: don’t repeat the same idea twice.
– Be provocative: raise thought-provoking questions that will have a long-lasting effect on your reader.
– Be playful: write and re-write. Experiment with language.
– Re-edit: don’t be afraid to re-arrange the order of your ideas.
– Be entertaining: ask yourself if it is fun to read your text. Ask a family member, partner, friend, roommate, or classmate for feedback.
– Read your text out loud. How does it sound?
Come up with original and relevant thoughts:
– Connect your personal opinion to topics that were discussed in class and during the lecture. Refer to statements written by classmates.
– Find more sources in the library and/or online.
– Challenge statements made by authors who are considered authorities in their field.
– Think about current political controversies that can be relevant in relation to your topic.
– Formulate a new idea that hasn’t been discussed yet.
Construct your argument:
– Explore conflicting points of view when analyzing a topic.
– Justify why you agree, or disagree with someone else.
– Develop your own perspective.
– Use gender-neutral language. For instance, if you refer to people in general, write “she, or he” instead of only “he”; “humanity” instead of “mankind”; “person / people” instead of “man/men” etc.
Make it pleasant to the eye:
– Experiment with different ways of formatting until your text is well-arranged.
– Include relevant media: photos, videos, links to other online sources. Embed the links in your text.
– Proofread your text twice: check for spelling and grammar mistakes. Ask a family member, partner, friend, roommate, or classmate to proofread your text.
– Check the “preview” option before publishing your post.
– If you use quotes, include page numbers.
– If you use online-sources, embed links.
– Cite sources for both texts and images at the end of your post.
– Take your time to write, reflect, re-write before publishing. Even if it’s only a short post.
– Compare posts you have written so far. Do you have developed your own style?
– Read the posts of your classmates, find other exciting blogs – and learn from them.
– Check out the Reading/Writing Center at Hunter College.
BREAK THE RULES!