Post Specifications

In order to encourage you to express yourself freely, your About Me post will not be evaluated according to these specifications. “Tips” (about relevant tools and techniques) and “Black Hole” posts (about cool things to explore) are also exempt.

You should express yourself freely in your analytical posts, too, writing in your own voice and communicating your ideas to your classmates, rather than performing for your professor or angling for a grade. “Free write” your ideas as they come to you, drafting your posts in Word, Pages, or on paper. Learn and discover as you go. If you haven’t learned something in the course of writing, you probably don’t have much to teach us.

After you have drafted your core ideas, revise them into a post. Use the revision process to make sure your post meets all required specifications. Don’t start with the specifications and try to assemble them into a post or you will limit your discoveries, reduce your fun, and probably sound stilted.

In addition to meeting individual assignment specifications, all analytical posts—including the Tracing Reflection, Impersonation, Favorite Poem, Roundtable, Multimediation, Conversation, and Davidson Scoop posts—must meet all of the following specifications in order to earn credit as “Satisfactory“:

  • Relevant title & featured image
  • Voice from the community: at least one quotation from a credible, authenticated expert or classmate, framed to explain who the person is and how the argument relates to your subject matter.
  • A clear thesis or hypothesis: this statement can take the form of a question but your post should ultimately lead your readers to an answer, however provisional.*
  • Evidence: at least one quotation from a primary source, framed to explain where it came from, what it means, and how it supports or contradicts your thesis.
  • Attention to detail: word limit met, categories checked, proofreading demonstrated (no more than 3 errors in standard English usage)
  • Works Cited: in MLA, Chicago, or APA style, for all works consulted or quoted, including assigned texts. You may include hyperlinks, but they may not substitute for full citations. (Hint: use Zotero to organize your sources and generate bibliographies.)

*It may surprise you that, in the above list, the thesis comes after a voice from the community. You have probably learned to start papers with your thesis, plugging in a required number of sources along the way to support your argument. In this class, we will take a different approach, recognizing that the best writing engages in genuine conversation with others, making an original intervention in order to move the discussion forward, rather than to bring it to an end.

You may earn an additional designation of “Sophisticated” by also demonstrating one or both of the following:

  • Substance/Originality: Your post digs deep into a specific issue or question of social, political, historical, or aesthetic significance and offers a surprising, fresh insight.
  • Creativity/Style: Your post is fluent, lively, direct, engaging, and/or stylish, demonstrating creativity in your integration and application of media.