Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

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.


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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.

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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.

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

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Jen Teitle–wife and fellow occasional blogger–pointed me toward the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website. They are “lawyers, policy analysts, activists, and technologists” who work for the public interest in matters related to the Internet and free speech. They have a lot of materials worth clicking around for, but most interesting for AP Lang is their FAQ sheet about student bloggers’ legal rights, based on legal precedents. I highly recommend that you all review the page in the next couple of weeks. Here’s a sample:


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If you’re reading this, you’re probably an AP Lang student wondering how this blogging thing is going to work. Here’s a brief guide to this site.

There are four kinds of things you’ll find here:

  1. Instructions for the assignment. There are two tabs at the top if you ever need some basic reminders about what I want you to do on your blogs. “The Assignment” give you the simple outline; “Why We Blog” is a more detailed explanation of my rationale for including them as a part of the AP Lang & Comp curriculum.
  2. A series of “how to” posts to help you blog. If you want to know how to include images or video in your posts, or you’re having trouble adding a link, click on “Blogging 101” on the right hand side and scroll through for instructions.
  3. Fellow students’ blogs. If you want to find other AP Lang students’ blogs to help spur some ideas of your own, or you’re just curious to see what others are doing, they’re all listed on the side. I will also periodically highlight some student blogs with a post on Kennedy Blogs.
  4. Other examples of blogs.  I’ve also included links to some really good blogs, so that you can see what highly successful bloggers have done. This includes professional bloggers like Andrew Sullivan and Nate Silver, and also KHS grads who started their blogs in AP Lang & Comp. This includes one student who recently blogged for the Obama re-election campaign, and another who is blogging for a women’s center at a Big 10 university.

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I’m starting to think about banning ads on your blogs. My reasoning:

  • they’re distracting and tacky;
  • they’ll never make you any money anyway;
  • they would seem to be at odds with the purpose of school.

If someone can explain to me why I’m wrong about at least two of these, state your case.

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