Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Assignment 9: Classmate Blog Critique

Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation
I'll be honest: I have a hard time reading other people's writing (except for professional writing that's been published, and thus proofread and edited) because rather than focusing on the content of what's being said, I start to automatically proofread what I'm reading. I get bothered by bad punctuation, grammar, spelling, writing style, etc. That's partly because I was an English teacher for a while. It's a hard habit to break. I have a lot of writing on my web site by volunteer writers, too, and I don't like to read theirs, either, because otherwise I'd spend all of my time proofreading and doing nothing else.

However, for the class blog, I tried very hard to read my classmate's blogs without focusing on these things.  I skimmed through all 13 of the blogs (well, it's really 12 since one student is not finished with most of hers).

Jamia's Blog

Quite a few of the blogs were well written; these students write much better than I did back in the '80's when I was their age and in college the first time. I especially like the blogs written by Lauren, Jamia, Forest, Justice and Houston. I think they write the best of all of the students.  However, the background graphic of Jamia's blog makes it really hard to read.  The same with some of the others' blogs. The busy background makes the text too difficult to read. (At least on my laptop) Despite that, I enjoyed Jamia's writing style because she's very humorous.

Houston's blog

All of these students write very well and in interesting styles. All five were very expressive. You could tell they were really writing from their own point of view and were passionate about the subjects. They all had a lot of interactivity and photos, too. I think some were a little short and could be longer, but I understand that not everyone is as long-winded as me.  Sometimes I, too, have trouble reaching 500 words until a "brilliant idea" strikes me!

Some of the blogs have font styles that seem to change mid-way through, or they center the text in some cases but not in others. This is a little bothersome, but not that big of a deal.

Forest's Blog

I thought Forest's design layout was the best and most readable of all of the blogs.  Blogger and Wordpress make it pretty easy to pick an attractive and readable design template.  I also enjoyed what Forest wrote about because he definitely has completely different tastes in movies and TV than I do, so it was interesting to read. Also, I like how his background was a play on words for his name "Forest."

blog cartoon
I'm glad that most of the students were able to keep up on their assignments; all but one student seemed to have all their blogs done. On the other hand, here it is, 1am the night before, and I didn't see this assignment done on anyone else's blog! Hopefully they will all finish writing it before class time and be all caught up. I know that it's hard to find time to write all of these blogs, put in the links and videos, and find photos, etc. I think they're all full-time students. I'm only a part-time student, but I do work and have other responsibilities. Today I finally got around to finishing the links for my binge-watching blog (there were a lot).  That was 2 assignments ago!

I wish all parents and schools would teach their children to start writing blogs, journals or diaries as early as possible. For one thing, it comes in handy later on when you want to remember something from your past or your childhood. You'd be surprised how easily you forget the details of your life as you get older.  I've only been doing my personal blog since 2004, but it's been very helpful whenever I try to remember when something happened or where I went.  My husband has a very good memory (way better than mine), but sometimes even he forgets, and then I consult my blog to find the answer.

Encourage writing no matter the age

The other reason that parents and teachers should convince children to start diaries/blogs/journals is that the more you write, the easier it gets, and the better you get at it. I wish I had started it back in elementary school. I briefly wrote a diary in high school. I wish I'd kept it up.  If you start writing at a young age, then you will be even better by the time you reach college, which is really invaluable. I had a hard time, believe it or not, when I was in college. I didn't have a very good education before college and had not done much writing, so it was very tough to learn how to write papers and essays for exams.  Now, writing is very easy because I've been doing it on computers since the 90's. Every little bit helps, whether it's blogs, papers, emails, fictional stories, or whatever. Just write and it will get easy. I think it also helps if you type really well, but not everyone does that. I know some excellent writers who still use two fingers to type.

Need writing help?

Another thing that can help with writing is to get help from other writers. For instance, here at SAU there are two writing labs, from what I'm told. One is the Writing Center. I believe the other is the Academic Enrichment Center. Some think that college students don't learn to write very well, and that may be the case. If you really want to be a writer, though, then the answer is to write, write, write! And get help if you need it.  This site gives a list of the top blogging sites.

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