About Blogging

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Why a Blog?


Earning Points vs. Losing Points
On Excuses and Extensions

What to Write

When You’re Confused

[Common Blog Mistakes!]

Why are we blogging and not writing ‘traditional’ papers?

A few reasons,

It gets you writing on more topics.  Writing helps make our own ideas concrete.  So in this sense blogging is a way for you to learn what think.  I want you to learn as much as possible and thus writing less on more topics helps meet that requirement.  As a lower stakes form of writing and one that can be done even on a phone it has few logistical and psychological barriers than ‘big’ papers.  And, if you’re writing on more topics there is a better chance that one of those topics will hold some genuine interest for you.  If you’re interested in a topic, you’re more likely to write more and better.  It thus gives me more chances to see you shine.  Likewise, practice makes perfect (or at least better).  If you write regularly throughout the semester, you have may opportunities to grow and improve.

How do you grade the blog entries?

You may notice this is a BIG class.  125 students in fact.  So I get some help with the reading, commenting, and grading.  The person who does this is my friend, colleague, and former PhD student (he graduated Spring 2017!).  That said, at the end of the day, I’m responsible for your grades. I design the grading rubric and I assign all final class grades.

This is what the grading rubric looks like:


You’re receive this form back twice.  Once on October 27 showing all the work you completed by October 9 at 7 pm.   And then again, in late December after the final and before I submit your final grades.

Things to note about this rubric –

Aspects of your work that can earn points:
Following instructions (12.5% of overall score)
The clarity of your writing (25%)

Can you make yourself understood? This includes things like grammar, syntax, vocabulary, spelling, and punctuation, but also the flow of ideas one from another.

The logic of your analysis (25%)

Does what you’re saying make sense?  Do you build your argument from evidence?

Creativity, Insight and Effort (25%)

Did you try? And did your efforts pay off in terms of the final product?  Are you saying something that interests, educates, informs, or entertains your audience?

Did you provide substantial comments on two other posts? (12.5%)

Substantial means that you add something to conversation.  This could be a complementary example that further supports or refutes their own point.  Or, it could be building on their work to say something more by way of analysis.  Or, drawing a connection between two different posts and how they are similar or different.

Aspects of your work that can lose points:

Work is only accepted up to 10 days after it was due.   If something is due at 7 pm at 7:01 pm it is worth 90% until 6.59 pm the next day.  In the following 24 hour period it is worth 80%, then 70% and so on.  Until, after 10 days it will no longer earn you any points towards your final grade.

But I have a great excuse!

Great, but that excuse cannot rest on the premise that you procrastinated until the last minute to do the work and then ran into problems.  Likewise, it cannot be based on technical problems.  Lost your phone? You best come to campus to finish the assignment in a computer lab!

Extensions are granted only for those who contact me more than 24 hours before the deadline about common life challenges (the ‘flu, your sister’s wedding, etc.) and are at my discretion.

OR, they may be granted in extraordinary circumstances that can be documented (apartment caught on fire, car crash, dad had a stroke, etc.).


Posts must be at least 250 words excluding quotations.  If you only write 200 words that’s 80%.  So, your post is worth 80% of what it would have been worth had it been full length.  125 words = 50%.  Etc.

Visual Literacy.

At least two of your posts must be tagged as Art posts.  This means you are using this post to demonstrate you know how to read an image such as Prof. Simon teaches you, and that you’re applying that skill in a post relevant to classics.  If you tag a post as Art and your text does not demonstrate this skill, points will be removed as appropriate.

How do I know what to write about?

There are blog prompt options under each of our 10 classes.  You may only use one prompt from any one class.   It will likely be easiest to do the posts of the most recent class, but this is not required. You may work ahead and you may also go backwards to earlier classes.  The schedule only sets how many you must complete by a given date.

Working ahead will let you prioritize other classes during the crunch times around midterms and finals!

I find the directions confusing…

  1. try reading them aloud to yourself, slowly
  2. ask a team-mate
  3. ask a librarian (especially if it is about using an online resource!)
  4. send me an email by Friday 5 pm BEFORE the deadline
  5. pick a different prompt you understand better