American Literature I (Fall, 2004; Seton Hill University)

Blogging Tips

In order to meet the requirements for Blogging Portfolio 1, many of you have quite a few blog entries to write. My goal is, of course, to get you to think about all these texts again (or, if you skipped a reading, for the first time), as you ponder what paper you'd like to write.

Building Community

For moral support, I suggest that you meet in the computer labs in small groups; or, use e-mail to arrange virtual study groups. Plan to read and comment meaningfully on each other's blog entries. You might be surprised at what comes up. The main thing is to do it consistently, a few entries at a time, over several days. When you go back to your blog after a few days, you might find several comments there, which will give you something immediate to write about. If you can't think of a blog entry on your own, then spend an hour or so doing nothing but reading and commenting on peer blog entries. Not only will this fulfill the xenoblogging component of the portfolio, it will also encourage more people to read what you have to say. (Make sure to leave the URL of your blog along with your comment.)

Feel free to hit "Reply All" to the e-mail message that I sent when I announced this page -- you can use e-mail to arrange alliances and make pacts to read and comment on each other's work. Or, you can use the comment space below to offer additional suggestions.

Likewise, if someone leaves you a helpful comment, return the favor, and give them one... or two.

Filtering Material

If you're only interested in reading blog entries on a particular topic, it can be confusing to sort through the lists of all the unrelated blogging that's going on at SHU. Fortunately, Google does a pretty good job indexing, so if you want to find someone who has blogged on a topic (character, author, title), you can probably find them by using Google to search the site. (Just add "site: blogs.setonhill.ed" as the first term in a Google search, and add your keywords after that. Here are a few pre-loaded searches, so you can get an idea of how it works:

The Scarlet Letter
Owl Creek returns more hits than Bierce

If you want to make sure your page is found, use the full title of the work and the author's name in your entry (especially in the title).


As I write this, Zachary Harvey's blog ranks about 60th out of 26,000 Google hits for "poe bells". Melissa Hagg's blog ranks about 90th out of 200,000 Google hits for "Owl Creek". Michael Sichok is about 60th out of 340,000 Google hits for "scarlet letter".

Labor Day (no class)