Group Blog Guidelines

Each week you should be posting material that explores material in the class in more depth.

In choosing a topic for your blog posting, you might want to start by thinking about the most relevant material to your fellow students:

Do you have more analysis of the comments or work produced by particular people who are guest speakers or case studies?

Are there specific news events relevant to digital journalism that can serve as examples (or counterexamples) of the theoretical material that we read or discuss in the course?

Do you know other digital journalists whom you see as models for your own efforts in this class?

Do you wand to raise questions about legal, ethical, professional, or economic issues in the field of digital journalism? l

Personal Blog Grading Criteria


The point of view of the posting is persuasive, highly original, and telegraphed clearly in a lively style. The writer uses ample but well-chosen evidence complete with links and images to the most definitive and authoritative sources. The writer contextualizes and integrates evidence appropriately. The writing is characterized by appropriate, clear, and smooth transitions, well-constructed paragraphs, and an arrangement of organizational elements that seems particularly apt. The writer uses sophisticated sentences effectively, usually chooses words aptly, observes the conventions of written English, and makes few -- if any -- minor or technical errors.


The point of view expressed is credible and solidly reasoned in its presentation. The writer uses sufficient evidence to support major points. Information about sources is provided. The writer presents distinct units of thought in paragraphs controlled by specific, detailed, and arguable topic sentences and clear transitions between developed, cohering, and logically arranged paragraphs. There may be a few mechanical difficulties or stylistic problems (which/that use, split infinitives, dangling modifiers, etc.), and the writer may make occasional problematic word choices or syntax errors. There may also be a few spelling or punctuation errors or a cliché.


The point of view demonstrates that the student is gaining insight into journalism as a rapidly evolving field, but the writing is clearly student work done for a class. The writer may not develop claims or may fail to go beyond shallow analysis. He or she mayleave ideas and generalizations undeveloped or unsupporte, and make limited use of textual or visual evidence. The organization is generally apparent and coherent. The reader can occasionally follow the writer's chain of reasoning or progression of ideas. Sources may be lacking or inappropriately cited.

There may be some awkward transitions, some brief, weakly unified or undeveloped paragraphs, and the arrangement may not appear entirely natural or contain extraneous information. These portfoilios may have more frequent wordiness, unclear or awkward sentences, imprecise use of words or over-reliance on passive voice, and some distracting grammatical errors (wrong verb tense, pronoun agreement, apostrophe errors, singular/plural errors, article use, preposition use, comma splice, etc.).


The style may be inappropriate, the evidence may be obviously insufficient, and the student's online persona may raise questions in the reader's mind about credibility. Organization is random or simplistic; little or no development of ideas is evident; the writing has little or no internal coherence, using few or inappropriate transitional devices; the reader has difficulty following the writer's chain of reasoning or progression of ideas. The writer may digress from one topic to another without developing ideas or terms or make insufficient or awkward use of textual or visual evidence. This writing is often characterized by major grammatical or proofreading errors that indicate problems with Standard Written English (subject-verb agreement, sentence fragments, word form errors, etc.). The language may also be frequently weakened by colloquialisms, clichés, and hyperbolic statements or repeated inexact word choices.


An "F" blogging portfolio may ignore the requirements of the class to produce writing that is substantive, coherent, engaging, and oriented around original analysis.

The writer may write too little text or produce a personal diary not of interest to outsiders or issue only political or social rants or post a series of stream-of-consciousness entries lacking a common theme. The student may have other severe difficulties communicating through journalistic writing.

There may be little or no development; the writer may list misinformation; in style, there may be no transitions and incoherent paragraphs that suggest poor planning or no serious revision. Numerous grammatical errors and stylistic problems seriously detract from the argument. This writing often does not meet Standard Written English requirement. Plagiarism is also grounds for an "F" grade.