Tools

All of the writing you complete in the course will find its place on a blog (an abbreviation of the phrase “web log”). The blog is a tool that assures an intellectual commons for our work

Setting Up Your Blog Go to WordPress.com. You will be prompted to choose an address, user name and password. Once you have registered the blog, go tohttp://learn.wordpress.com/get-started/. The default “theme” for your blog is Twenty Ten. By clicking on the link you can learn about the features of the blog. Please feel free to choose a custom header.

We all use the same format for the blogs. Click Dashboard. Click on Pages. Then add the following pages:

  • About (For a brief bio)
  • Commentaries
  • Anthology

Don’t worry. In a few weeks you will know the difference between pages (as opposed to posts) and widgets (such as a tag cloud or a list of links that you can use to customize your page and make it easier for a reader to navigate). The sixth page of the WP tutorial is about posting and will likely be the most useful to you at the beginning of this course. If you would like to add images to your site or to postings, read on to learn how simple this really is. The eleventh tutorial, titled “Insider Tips,” is helpful as well. The “kitchen sink” icon in the post/page editor, to take one example, reveals formatting options, enabling you to create headings and indent text, or to use the “paste from word” button that will carry over formatting from a word document.

Once you have created the blog, send an e-mail with the blog URL to mlong@keene.edu. We will also link the course blogs so that everyone has access to one another’s writing. If you are having any problems working with  your blog, or would like to talk with me about the blog, please make an appointment with me.

Managing your Blog You are required to complete all of the writing tasks that I post on the course blog to receive a passing grade in the course. You must do all of the writing on time

Here are some suggestions as you make choices about organizing content:

  • use Categories and Tags to organize your posts. These features will allow a reader to follow threads in your thinking and writing more readily across different posts. Most WP themes list the categories and tags in a sidebar or in a tag cloud
  • build a list of relevant links. The “Blogroll” on your site might list sites with materials useful for students of language and literature. The goal is to establish a set of links for readers seeking pathways into the conversation
  • We will use some of our class time during the first week of class looking at the WP dashboard and the various features of the WP platform. However the best way to learn how to use WP is to experiment. As you will see, changing the look and organizational structure of your blog is easy to do
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