How to blog well

Blogging is an opportunity to articulate ideas in a more accessible format than academic writing. Typically, blog posts integrate analysis with your own experience.

Blogs are a great place to incorporate various kinds of media (images, video, etc.) to supplement your writing and engage your audience. Finally, they are a great place to develop your own voice: I encourage you to get creative and let your personality come through in your post – you can be creative, humorous, witty;  whatever you like, as long as you also thoughtfully engage with the text and make coherent points.

Characteristics of a strong blog post:

  • Analysis integrated with experience
  • Interesting, funny title
  • A “hook” opener, such as a controversy or anecdote
  • Relevant media objects (video, image, etc.)
  • Letting your own voice come through: a unique argument based on your experience
  • Coherent position and perspective

Sample blog:

Here is a sample blog to look at. It is the course blog for a science fiction course at Vanderbilt university:

Although these posts are much longer than what you’ll be required to write for this class, they give you a feel for the format. Note how students relate content to their own lives and use a personal mode of writing, often beginning with an interesting anecdote or hook. Students incorporate images and media, and reference current articles.

I am in the process of collecting more blogs to use as examples. Please let me know if you have a blog you’d like to recommend.

Excerpts from student blogs at Hamilton College

Below are excerpts from student blogs at Hamilton College. You can see how they link analysis of course material to their own experiences, current events, etc.:

“This article prompted me to think once again about the larger implications capitalism and social class have on LBTQ segment of the queer community. My mind immediately goes to the rapid failure of lesbian bars throughout the country.”  Anonymous

“Code-switching refers to the practice of shifting the languages you use or the way you express yourself in your conversations (Deggans 2013). It occurs daily and, for me, is most noticeable in greetings. Back home in Brooklyn, I’d greet a black friend by saying, “What’s good?” Using this language sends a message to my friends that I know the jargon of the “hood” and it reaffirms my blackness. On the contrary, at my current school, Hamilton College, I tend to greet my white friends with, “Hey. How are you?” in a very lively tone to convey that I am friendly and welcoming like every other student.”   Kureem Nugent ’18

“While the hype around Yuna, the Malaysian pop star, is exceptionally positive, this publicity can also be conceived as quite objectifying.  In all of the articles I have read, Yuna is not being highlighted for her music but for her clothes.” Sara Nolan ’16


Further resources:

10 Habits of Bloggers that Win