Before I began my education at Seton Hill University, I had no prior experience with blogging. However, that quickly changed when I took Newswriting my first semester and needed to create a blog for course assignments.
Blogging initially challenged me because I was accustomed to responding to assignments in a certain way, and I had the perception that blogging was more for entertainment and not academics. I had to slightly adapt my writing style to contain a more conversational tone while still answering the question(s) accurately. In addition, I was slightly apprehensive about blogging because anyone could see what I was writing.
As I blogged for more assignments, I further developed my writing abilities and felt more connected to the content I was reading. Blogging forces you to demonstrate what you have learned to others, not just the professor, so I think I take more time to really comprehend what I have learned when I blog.
Additionally, I feel like I have the opportunity to learn more when I blog because we are often required to respond to our classmates’ blog posts. I enjoy reading other people’s perspectives, and having discussions on my classmates’ blogs further engages me in the course content.
My overall writing ability has definitely improved as well since I receive feedback from my peers. Although it was initially a bit scary to know anyone could find my writing, blogging gave me great practice in being open to feedback and criticism, which is a necessary skill as a writer, especially a journalist.
Aside from writing, starting a blog my first semester was also extremely beneficial because it introduced me to WordPress. Blogging for my Newswriting course gave me some basic training for my eventual position for the Setonian as Online Editor, and understanding how to maintain and write for a blog is also a marketable skill in the journalism and communication field.
Besides Newswriting, Writing for the Internet, and a few Media Lab assignments, I admit I have not blogged for any other courses. However, my experience with blogging for those courses was beneficial for my growth as a writer, and I have no doubt that blogging for Topics in Media and Culture will only add to that growth as well.