Friday, September 28, 2007

Writing III Poll...: Comments - revisited

Last Wednesday (Sept. 26, 2007), three students made some very honest and thoughtful comments about blogging on a follow-up post about a poll we did at the end of spring semester: Writing III Poll (pukman, July 2007). I've thanked them for their comments in another comment on that post. Now I'd like to respond further here.

As I see it, blogging isn't always about correspondence; sometimes it is just like keeping a diary, or a notebook for ideas that you want to remember. For an example of a rough and ready notebook-type blog, used for various purposes, see pab's potpourri.

Some personal blogs get shared with only a small group of friends. In fact, some blogging tools let you decide about each and every post whether to keep it private or make it public. For example, pab’s vox blog is currently private.

As far as personal vocabularies go, I'm convinced that reading lots of easy books (remember your book review assignments?) and writing lots of blog posts will:
  • Refresh vocabulary knowledge that you have already,
  • Increase the size of your vocabularies, and
  • Eventually make it easier and easier to produce written ideas with the words you know and are still learning.
Certainly, if your writing skills are not yet as good as you wish they were, blogging provides virtually endless opportunities to practice writing. So blog on!
[231 words]

Critical Comments & Backlinks Settings

Certain settings on your blogs are hyper-critical! You must set them correctly for class and community participation, especially for commenting and backlinking. So as soon as you finish reading this post, please follow the steps below, and double-check your settings for comments and backlinks.

  1. Click on the button ("B," for Blogger) in the top left corner of your Blogger screen.
  2. Find and click on the "Settings" link for you blog.
  3. Click on the "Comments" tab.
  4. Confirm the settings shown in the picture of the comments settings screen (pab's potpourri, above).
  5. Then view one of your blog posts to make sure that the "n Comments" and "Links to this Posts" links show up at the end of the post, like this: .
  6. If those links don't appear, reload the page by clicking this button, , in the Firefox, Navigation Toolbar.
  7. If you still don't see those links at the end of your post, then ask an assistant or me for help fine-tuning "Post Options" in edit mode.
[173 words]

The Group Thing: Mega-Essay Project (1)

For the group thing, or mega-essay project one, you need to find two classmates or near-peers, and form groups of three, who will contribute to, and continue to cooperate on, development of a mega-, multi-media essay on Kumamoto. The homework assignment on September 26, 2007, was to find partners immediately.

Working together to compose a mega-essay from individual essays and other posts about Kumamoto (posted spring semester) will make it easier for each of you to achieve the 150% extension of essay lengths from Writing III to IV. Through cooperation, you can combine your main points, personal perspectives, favorites, and recommendations - not to overlook pictures and other media.

Each of your group members must represent the collection of your group's ideas (content and form) in posts on their respective blogs, in order to satisfy the requirements for the first essay fall semester. Once your group has agreed on, and posted a collective product (by Oct. 8, 2007), you may present individual variations and amplifications which fairly represent group mates' contributions, by linking to original essays or other blog posts of your peers.
[183 words]

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Targets for Fall Semester: Writing IVc

This post reiterates writing targets announced during initial class meetings, for typing speed trials, book reviews, and blog posts for fall semester. It amplifies weekly blogging targets suggested in the recap. of Blogging targets: Aim high! (September 26, 2007).

The table below indicates how Writing IV (Fall) raises the targets from Writing III (Spring). For those of you who weren't here spring semester, the challenge is all the greater:










(Writing III)

100 words

(20 wpm)





(Writing IV)

150 words

(30 wpm)








150% longer

You can check the academic calendar, and do the math yourselves, to get your own weekly targets for fall semester. However, you should realize that, in order to increase your typing speed, you will need a large number of hours of practice (including typing practice, typing speed trials, actual blogging, and essay preparation times). These are just ballpark estimates, yet to increase your typing speed in five-minute trials by:
  • 10 words may require 10 hours of typing practice;
  • 100 words may require 100 hours of typing practice.
Most of you are somewhere in the middle of those two estimates, but should continue to practice to push up your typing speeds, until typing no longer slows your self-expression in online environments.
[219 words]

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blogging targets: Aim high! - revisited

An example of backlinking to "Blogging targets: Aim high!"

"High" for last semester was five posts or more per week. Fall semester targets are higher. Five is minimum; six, seven or eight is (very) good.
[35 words]

Writing III Poll (pukman, July 2007) - revisited

The Writing Studio Blog: Writing III Poll (pukman, July 2007)
[an example of an automatically generated backlink, with blog title and post title]

Wow, two students didn't like blogging. I wonder why?
[32 words]

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Writing III Poll (pukman, July 2007)

Here's a graph of results from a poll on pukman's blog, asking three questions about Writing III, to which 61 students responded:

Almost two-thirds of the responding students enjoyed blogging more than a little. Almost 97% enjoyed blogging at least a little. Only 3.28% didn't enjoy blogging.

More than half of the respondents (54%) thought that their computing skills improved more than a little. 100% thought their computing skills improved at least a little.

Almost 40% of respondents thought that their computing skills improved more than a little. 100% thought their writing skills improved at least a little.

The technical process was just about as interesting as the poll results. Getting the chart from Excel and Windows into Blogger was a challenge for this Mac user. In a nutshell, the workaround entailed:
  1. Copying and pasting the chart from Excel into Word;
  2. Selecting the insert-as-picture option immediately after pasting the chart into Word;
  3. Copying and pasting the picture again, from Word into the Photo Editor, tweaking the size controls in both Word and the Photo Editor to get the picture to fit a new editor file;
  4. Saving the Photo Editor file as a JPG (or JPEG) file, in ".jpg" format; &
  5. Uploading the JPG file into a draft blog post.
Though the poll closed in August, you may still comment on the results either here in comments on this post, or there in comments on Polls for KGU Writing III Students. Pukman, tomeiter and I all welcome your continuing feedback on your writing courses.
[259 words]
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...