Blog Post 1 Returned: Common Issues

I have completed the grades for Blog Post 1: you should be able to access these grades and my comments through the TSquare gradebook. From now on, once I have graded and released the feedback for each blog post and set of comments, you should be able to access the grade book and see the numerical grade, as well as my comments (see below).

TSquare Gradebook

In terms of feedback, there were some common issues in the blogs that I wanted to address. These issues include incorporation of multimodal elements into your posts, forming arguments, and grammatical errors.

Also, please do not forget to include the required elements of each blog post (title, category, tags, multimodal element) – students who did not include each of these elements on Blog Post 1 received an “R” grade and will need to resubmit their posts.

Multimodal Elements

When creating a multimodal communication, it is important that all of the elements of that communication work together and rely on each other to create meaning. When you insert a link (for example, a link to a dictionary definition of the term you are defining), you should reference that dictionary definition in the written aspect of your post and discuss why that definition is important and relevant to the overall argument. We will talk more extensively about how to best incorporate quotes into written text, but you want to carefully incorporate your multimodal elements as well.

You also want to do your best to use the affordances of the web when incorporating your multimodal elements. For example, it is better to embed a link into your text then to add a long, unattractive hyperlink into your post.

Forming Arguments

You want to make it clear what your central point or argument is whenever you are creating a communication. Even in an informal communication like a blog post, you want to be sure your overall purpose is clear. As you start to transition these ideas into a definition argument, remember that a definition argument asks you to determine if something (such as “adult” or “Millennial”) fits into a certain category.

For many of you, your blog posts concluded that “there is no such thing as an adult” or “coming of age feels different for everyone;” while this idea can certainly feel true, for the formal definition paper, you are going to have to come up with a more concrete argument. For example, when thinking of “coming of age,” it would be less appropriate to argue that it is different for everyone, but it would be more effective to argue that “coming of age” fits into the category of “mental process” or “state of mind.”

It is possible to define a category for a specific concept even if you feel it is unique for each person. For example, one might easily say that falling in love fits into the category of “an intense emotional experience.” While you could persuasively argue that no two falling in love experiences are the same, a definition for falling in love could include common characteristics, such as intense feelings of desire and attraction, often without warning. Individuals in love are often seen by friends and family to be acting irrationally or out of character in relation to the loved one. Physical symptoms of love are often described as feeling flushed, butterflies in the stomach, nervousness when the loved one is near, and newfound sense of self-consciousness.

Finally, as you work through your definitions, be sure you are using concrete and clear about the terms you are using and carefully think through the implications of those terms. For example, if you use the term “complete independence” to define adult, what does that mean? Does linking complete independence to adulthood mean that someone who is paralyzed and relies on the help of a nurse or family member can never actually become an adult? Does complete independence mean refusing to lean on friends or family in times of difficulty or transition? Think carefully about the ramifications of your claims and how your definition affects a wide variety of people.

Grammatical Errors

When incorporating quotations into your text, commas and periods go inside the closed quotation marks. (“Your quotations should be formatted like this.”)

Be very careful when starting sentences with conjunctions (and, or, but, etc.). In an informal setting like the blog, this incorrect sentence construction isn’t likely to undermine you as an author but when it comes to formal writing, it will mark you as an inexperienced writer.

Be sure that you are carefully proofreading your posts; not only should you run a standard spell check but you also want to check for commonly confused words (a few I saw include: are/our, an/and, there/their)

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