Professional Resources:

RSS (Real Simple Syndication) / Blog readers
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Wiki vs. Blog vs. Discussion Board

Video resources:

Teacher blogs:

Student Blogs:

Suggestions on rules for student bloggers:

Blog Expectations:

You will have one thoughtful response per week.
This is also how I will hold you accountable for your reading life. For instance, you may post about a book a few times if it takes you two weeks (or longer, if the book is especially challenging or long). Your first blog post might be about a small idea or theory you are formulating about the book, or a line that caught your attention. Then your second week post will be about a bigger idea that you noticed throughout the book. Or, any combination.
Blog posts should be thoughtful and based on your ideas. They should not just be retellings of the book. If you write a post that's a retelling, I will ask you to re-do the post.

Before you publish a blog post, you should double check it to make sure it's "blog-worthy". This, of course, means that you should check all of your spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation, but it means more than that, too!

Here are some guidelines for grammar:


One of the biggest differences between writing that stays in your notebook and writing that gets published online is that the writing you post on your blog should use correct conventions and mechanics all the time. When you are emailing or texting your friends, that is a different kind of writing, and a lack of conventions (following grammar rules) may be appropriate. Our blogs, though, are a way of practicing writing in an academic setting. Please practice using academic writing on your blogs. I'll be looking for the following conventions that you should already be familiar with on your blog:
  • Underline (or italicize) and capitalize the title of your book
  • Use purposeful paragraphs when you switch to a new topic or idea
  • Capitalization in general: you know what gets capitalized! No need for writing in all caps - ever!
  • Spell words correctly - no text-spelling allowed!! (i.e. it's not "u". it's "you".)
Blog posts should be academic in tone, meaning that language is appropriate, and that you're using correct terminology (like the names of literary devices, for example).

Remember, though - a blog is different than a notebook.

One of the most fun (and scary!) parts of blogging is that others can read what you write! Although your posts should be academic-sounding, that doesn't mean they have to be dry - posts can also have some of your own voice. Is your voice funny, serious, inquisitive, philosophical? You can also include text-to-self connections that people can identify with.

Give your reader a bit of context so that he or she can understand what you are writing about. Context can be attained in 1-2 sentences and includes the title of the book plus a brief introduction to the character, setting and conflict. For example, "I have been readingThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, set in a dystopian, futuristic society that forces 12 children to participate in an Olympic-style game, only it is to the death. The reader is allowed inside the mind of Katniss, the main character, as she fights her way through the games."
  • Try to "bookend" your post thoughtfully: use a lead to begin and try to leave your reader thinking at the end.
  • As a courtesy, if you are writing about the end of a book, put a "spoiler alert" in the post so that anyone who hasn't read the book doesn't see what happened in the end, just in case they want to read the book. It is very possible to write a reading response thoughtfully without giving away the entire plot.
Hopefully, people will read your blog posts and want to respond. You can end up having really in-depth dialogues on your blog! Some ways to invite more dialogue include addressing the reader directly (having an awareness that others are reading what you write), asking questions that you hope people will answer, and including things you are confused or wondering about.

Here are some posts from last year that exhibit voice and an awareness of audience:

Nathan dicusses his thoughts about The Hunger Games and how his sister's school had banned the book:

Melissa compares life during the Holocaust to our current lives (which connects readers directly to her ideas), and asks questions of herself that readers could also answer:

Corinna is so honest about her personal challenges that readers can feel safe opening up and sharing their own:

Are there other requirements?

You will also be required to respond to at least one blog post a week. Do not post anything that is inappropriate or mean in any way.

We will occasionally take a break from posting online to work on our writing craft by printing out and revising one of our favorite posts.

Non fiction blog postFor Part 1 of a Nonfiction Blog Post, answer these questions:1) What is the overall main idea of the text? What is the entire text mostly about?2) What are three or four details that contributed to your understanding of the text? Try to use at least one direct quote in this part.3) How do those details support and connect to the main idea?

For Part 2 of a Nonfiction Blog Post, answer these questions:1) What does the author want readers to think or feel?2) What are some craft moves the author uses to achieve this? How do they work? Try to include at least one direct quote here.

For Part 3 of a Nonfiction Blog Post, answer these questions:

1) What will you take away from it? 2) How has your thinking been shaped or changed, and why? Do you have an opinion on the issue now?3) What else do you want to know?