We haven’t had time to address this yet in the new calendar year, but the start of January seems like a good time to remind you of the rules of this blogging game. Writing three blog posts per week is not easy, and inevitably, over the course of the year, a few people cut corners in ways that seem harmless at the time but will do serious damage to your grade later. This post is meant to help you avoid that fate.

I expect that everything you’re writing on your blog is written by  you. If you’re quoting something, use the “quotation” button on WordPress (next to the numbered list button), and don’t expect to get word-count credit for those words.

If you copy material from somewhere else online and paste it into your post, even if you change the wording a little, that’s plagiarism. If you’re confused about this at all, please consult the page on Canvas called “Academic Dishonesty.” Hey, here’s a link.

Two Videos, One Post

Someone asked me how you go about embedding multiple videos from YouTube into the same post, and I thought others might like to know as well. Here’s what the WordPress Help Center says, though I haven’t tried it myself. Let me know if it works.

Setting Your Time Zone

Are your blog posts showing the wrong time? You probably want it to be correct, if you’re ever in the position of posting on a Sunday, and needing that post to count for the right week.


If it’s not showing the right time, go to your Settings. “Timezone” automatically sets to “0,” but you want “UTC-5” for US Central Time.

Blogging 101

Here are a few things you’ll want to do in an average post:

  • Your voice should really come through on these posts. To paraphrase Montaigne, the subject of your blog is you. Your thoughts on psychology, or running, or cooking, or whatever.
  • Incorporate what others are saying about your topic. When you do this, include a link. Like this.
  • Embed a video from YouTube into your post. Like that.

For other questions, I’d suggest clicking on the “Blogging 101” category off to the right. Let me know if there’s something you’d like to be able to do, but can’t figure out how.

This is the first of the semi-regular posts I’ll do, highlighting some of the interesting work happening on the AP Lang blogs.

RunSingSmile reflects on the pros and cons of listening to music while running. Yes, there are cons:

 I’ve tried both, and after a run where I’m constantly listening to my iPod, I don’t feel as content or peaceful as I do when I run in silence. Running has a meditative quality. When my mind is free to wander and it’s not being bombarded by music, my worries and stresses fall away with each step I take, and I’m able to appreciate the beauty that surrounds me on a beautiful day.


Meanwhile, on other blogs…

BeyondClutch was relieved by the Hawkeyes’ win over Minnesota… which tells you all you need to know about 2012 Iowa football so far.

On It’s Whatever, Meghan responds to the presence of eigth-graders–eighth-graders!–wandering the halls of Kennedy.

And on the Fancy Popular News, an anonymous blogger wonders why celebrities can’t learn to drive.

Finally, Zappy critiques YA lit. But she’s winking while she says it, so I’m not sure she’s serious.

The Conversation

Now that we’ve been blogging for a few weeks, I’ve had a chance to lay my eyes on every single blog, if not every single post. I’ve commented on some of them directly, posted some comments on PowerSchool (see Blog Check 1), and talked to some people in person. I like most of what I’ve seen so far. However, there’s one aspect of the blog assignment that I think some of you are still missing…

Step back and look at your blog. Ask yourself: does my blog reflect that I’m participating in ongoing conversations beyond my blog? If not, what conversations are out there right now related to my chosen topics? What websites/blogs might provide an opportunity to read stories related to those conversations?

Add some links to your sidebar. Link to stories in your posts. It doesn’t have to be every post, but it should be at least half of what you’re doing on the blog.

Again, I like where we’re at; I just want to nudge some of you a little.

Over on the right, you’ll see what I hope are some helpful links. I’ve given a list of some professional bloggers, in case the form is new to you. I also included links to some bloggers from years past, though I’ve not yet updated that with any ’11-’12 AP Lang bloggers. Also, along the top, there are tabs that will take you to the general assignment guidelines, and to a general statement of purpose for the blog assignment.

Please create a link to this page in the sidebar of your own blog. When I get around to it, there will be a complete list of ’12-’13 AP Lang bloggers down the right-hand side, which will give you access to the blogs of your classmates. Until I do that, your blog will only be accessible to those you give your blog address to, or those who randomly happen upon it (which is unusual for a brand-new blog).

I will use this blog to post blog-related announcements, give tips on how to do what you’re doing, and to highlight particularly good work on student blogs. So check in now and again.

Posts for the Term

A series of blog-related announcements:

  1. This is our last week of blogging for the term; the final posts should be posted no later than Feb. 26.
  2. You should have 27 posts dated between December 19 and Feb. 26.
  3. We will resume blogging the first week of third term.

Blogging Update

Hey Folks.

I’ve been asked to check on how many blog posts you should need at this point. The first check came on December 18. Not including the week we’re in, you should have 18 more posts from December 19 on.

When will I check? Soon.

You are supposed to have 18 blog posts by Monday. Twelve of those should have been posted on or after September 26.