Welcome to the English 400 Blog!

The purpose of this assignment is for you to enter into a discourse with documents of your own choosing (outside of our scheduled reading) and respond to them within the context of your chosen topic or community. Try to present supplemental materials that may be of interest to the rest of the class and help inspire discussion, research, or understanding of a different perspective.

Supplemental materials can include:

Internet resources (reliable), articles from the textbook, documentaries, movie clips, television clips, music, magazine articles, news articles, pictures, scholarly journals, and good old-fashioned books.

Before you start…

To effectively create this blog, students must identify a larger topic or community to which they belong (a community of which there is strong interest or involvement). It is important to give careful consideration to the selected topic or community as this will be the basis for the letter of inquiry and formal proposal assignments over the course of the semester.

Blog entry requirements

In your blog entries, you must write a brief summary of the argument from your selected supplemental materials. Next, you should include a discussion/ breakdown of the evidence presented. After completing the summary and discussion, you must provide your own personal response to the information presented (agree, disagree, or both) and show a connection with your chosen topic or community.

Remember that a blog is not a journal. Though more personal than a traditional academic essay, a blog is still public, meaning that you do have an audience. Not only will I be reading your blogs, but so will your classmates, and members of the general public who happen to stumble upon it. Remember to phrase your ideas and arguments with care, and think before posting anything controversial. Remember that anything that goes on the internet, stays on the internet (audience, purpose, and context).


  • 7 blog entries for a total of 20 pts of your final grade.
  • At least one blog entry per week, to be completed no later than Sunday at 5pm. I will be checking your blogs each Sunday evening, so they must be completed on time. 3 pts will be deducted for each blog entry not completed on time. Your first blog entry is due at the end of WEEK 3.
  • Each entry must refer to at least one outside source.
  • Each entry must be between 300-500 words (excluding quotations).
  • You must read and post comments on at least two of your classmates‘ blogs by the following Wednesday evening of each week. Posts should present your response to what a classmate is arguing. Your response should further develop the author’s ideas by extending them into subjects that the article does not specifically address, or the response should critique the author’s ideas, analyzing them for logical inconsistency or faulty evidence. You should not simply agree or disagree without providing support for your assertion. NOTE: Your comments will be considered under the participation requirement of this course. Failure to post comments will result in a low participation grade.

Grading Criteria:

You will receive your final grade for the blog at the end of the semester. With this in mind, you are encouraged (and should) revisit and revise previous entries based on your developing thoughts, ideas, and strategies learned through the course of the semester. Remember, a good critical thinker understands that his/ her opinions are subject to change, and a stance you take at the beginning of a semester could change significantly based on further reading.