The anguish and the ecstasy

Without doubt, the college blogging assignment has always been one of my favourites. The act of writing in a public forum, where anyone anywhere in the world could read their prose, seems to compel students to do their best work.

Indeed, my first-year Advertising and Marketing Communications (AMC) students did just that last week when they wrote their first blogs for my Writing for Marketing course.

When I do this assignment, I always publish a Top 5 list of my favourite entries, so now I have the heart-rending task of selecting my favourite posts from last week. I have about 12 that I absolutely love, and I’ve identified seven that are Top 5 material. But I have to choose 5. Hence, I will list only posts that demonstrate more than just strong writing and adherence to the rubric I created to develop basic blog formatting and technical skills and online source documentation comprehension.

So here are my AMC Top 5 (in no particular order) blogs from last week:

Blog #1: I guess this makes me a blogger! by Brianne Garrah—Brianne satisfied all the requirementsscreen-shot-2017-01-26-at-12-17-42-pm of the rubric, but she went much further than the assignment’s baseline requirements. She embedded images so that the text wrapped cleanly around them and she used her photo captions as hyperlinks so that readers could link to the image sources. She also positioned her images so that her page looked balanced, and she provided relevant hyperlinks that were worth clicking. Her writing is crisp and one gets a sense of her character through her prose. Visit Brianne’s blog here or click the image to the right.

Blog #2: Reflection: having an identity by Ben Bisson—Like Brianne, Ben went beyond the screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-12-18-11-pmrubric’s requirements. He, too, cleanly embedded relevant hyperlinks and embedded his image, a photo of himself, on a hike, gazing upon a serene lake scene in the Gatineaus. He created a hyperlink with his photo that links to his blog’s About Me page, an effort that will encourage readers to stay longer on his blog site. Ben writes with depth and humility in this post. Well done, Ben. Visit Ben’s blog here or click the image of his blog to the left.

Blog #3: Proceed with caution, by Hilary Hoogwerf—Blogging “stresses” Hilary out, she screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-12-18-26-pmsays in the first line of her post. But you wouldn’t know it here. She has a strong writer’s voice and is an articulate writer. Hilary satisfies the rubric’s requirements and, like Brianne, has provided a hyperlink in her image caption that takes the reader to the source of her artwork. She has also embedded her image so that the text wraps cleanly around it without interrupting its flow. Visit Hilary’s blog here or click the image to the right.

Blog #4: Slogging ‘n’ blogging, by Tasha Latimer—”If you’re not a little nervous, you’re screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-12-18-58-pmnot really alive.” That’s how Tasha starts her blog. It’s a quote from a deodorant commercial. And what could be more fitting for an advertising student than to use a quote from an ad to describe how she feels about blogging? It was a creative and powerful way to open this first post by Tasha, and it sure got her point across. Instead of borrowing art from elsewhere, Tasha made her own. She crafted emotive black-and-white photos of herself using her phone’s simple editing tools. Who needs stock photos? Not Tara. Visit Tara’s blog here or click the image above.

Blog #5: Hello blogging world…it’s me, by Taetum Roseberry—This was the hardest one to screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-12-19-09-pmchoose, the last of my Top 5. Taetum satisfied most of the rubric’s requirements and went beyond the basic requirements in others. However, it was the way she expressed herself that compelled me to include her in the Top 5. Taetum is one of the quietest students in my class, but her writer’s voice is open, powerful, and confident while coming from a place of humility. If you want to get to know Taetum, reading her blog will likely be a great place to start. Visit Taetum’s blog here or click the image to the right.

I had so many favourite blogs that I couldn’t stop at five, so here are six more that are definitely worth checking out:

To blog or not to blog, by Kelly Keates—Kelly writes with style and her prose is nearly always immaculate. Visit Kelly’s blog here.

My start, by Casey Jonas—Casey is another one of my quiet students, but boy does she pack power in her prose. There is a lot going on inside this young writer’s head. Just read her blog and you’ll see that’s true. Visit Casey’s blog here.

Prepared for an image, by Liam Chesebrough—Liam is a solid writer, but you should check out his blog to get to his Instagram account where you can see—and more importantly hear—him playing some of the most moving electric guitar I’ve heard in years. This young man has soul. Sadly, he hasn’t yet put out an album, but he has promised to send me some of his music. I’m waiting, Liam… Visit Liam’s blog here.

Blogging for the first time, by Marianna Varela Mendoza—Marianna is a native of Venezuela, but her writing is so clean and crisp that you wouldn’t know English is her second language. Marianna is also a sophisticated thinker. I like how she took the time to figure out how to turn her images into hyperlinks that take the reader directly to her sources. Visit Marianna’s blog here.

God bless autocorrect, by Maggie Doherty—Maggie had some problems with the way the text in her blog was displayed (perhaps she’ll fix it by the time you see it). Nonetheless, there’s raw honesty in her writing, which probably comes from years of songwriting. Her blog provides a link to her Instagram account where you can watch and hear Maggie singing and playing guitar. Visit Maggie’s blog here.

You want to what? Blog? by Ben Lawrence—Ben adheres to most of the rubric’s requirements and demonstrates excellent thought organization in this first post, from start to finish. Visit Ben’s blog here.

Many other students also did some great work in their first blogs, but I have to stop somewhere. I’m hoping that I will get to highlight a whole other group of bloggers when students do their final posts for my course in mid-April.

Wherever you are in the world, please visit these students’ blogs and say hi. Show them that they are, indeed, writing for a global audience.


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Proceed with caution.

This is a nice start, Hilary. Keep it coming. And I’d love to see some of your art some day.


Blogging stresses me out, and knowing that the audience for my blog posts can be seen globally is stressful to me. I have never written for myself, or anyone other than my teachers; and now having an outlet for my thoughts and writing is nerve racking.

cautioncaution: new blogger

I would say that I write fairly well; other than writing for projects and such for school I don’t write at all. For me, writing doesn’t come naturally; I have to be given something to write about to be able to go forward with an assignment.

I do not have any past experiences in writing other than essays and other projects for school. For the most part, I’m not very passionate about writing, and the things that I write about mainly because I’m not interested in it.

Blogs have always been something I’ve been interested in. I made…

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A questionable start

You have a wonderful sense of humour. I read an article today on the 4 things recruiters look for when they research candidates online. One of those features is personality. You demonstrate oodles of it here. So keep on blogging, Justine.

Justine Gilholm

Do you have the urge to listen to an anti-social 18 year old ramble on about random issues for the sole purpose of entertaining a select few on the internet? Look no further, you’ve come to the right place. Hopefully over the next couple of months my writing will improve so much you may just shed a tear ( but let’s not get our hopes up).

As I’m sure you can already tell, my writing is like your first college boyfriend: a bit sloppy and certainly nothing to write home about. I’d like to think I’m on the right track to becoming a good writer, I just need a bit of practice. I usually find it difficult to wrap up a topic I’m discussing and finish with an impactful conclusion. Surely this blog will at least improve this issue.

My experiences as a writer are limited. Most people in…

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Never thought I’d be here.

I love this blog entry. One gets a sense of the writer’s personality, images have been cleanly embedded in the text (and they’ve been sourced), and my rubric has been followed. And, of course, the writing is clean. This will likely be an entry for the Greg Award Blogger of the Year. Students, if you want to know how to rock your blog assignment, check out Brianne’s blog.

Brianne Garrah

I guess this makes me a blogger!

screen-shot-2017-01-19-at-2-40-50-pmGet this image here.

I’ve hardly ever thought about myself as a writer. I’d usually groan and complain about having to write essays, never really feeling inspired to write. Yet somehow here I am – blogging for the entire world to hear my thoughts.

Now of course, I was encouraged to start blogging by my professors – they’re pretty much the ‘know all’ for what can lead us to success – and having a blog is really a great tool to use professionally. Some of the past AMC students have found success and gotten job offers because of their blogs!

Although, the thought of this post being on not only a public forum but one that can reach a global audience, is a little stressful, I am definitely up for the task. I feel that knowing everyone and their grandmother can see this adds some…

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God bless autocorrect

Thank you for sharing your Instagram details. I watched/listened to some of your performances there. There is definitely much more to Maggie Doherty than meets the eye. BTW, there’s more to good writing than grammar and spelling, as you’ve demonstrated capably in your lyrics and your first post.

Wake up Maggie

Ever mess up a word so bad auto correct can’t even figure it out? Welcome to my life. Spelling is my greatest weakness; I’m horrible at it. Maybe it’s because I have become so reliant on auto correct to fix my mistakes or the fact I’ve always been like this, either way, the struggle is real.

I love the ability to put your thoughts into words, getting deeper into the idea you create by writing it

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Prepared for an Image?

Liam, I looked into your music. Wow. Thank you for sharing your Instagram site. I’d like to access more of your music if possible. I also look forward to reading more from you.

Liam Chesebrough

I am. I’m the type of person that’s changing all the time, switching things up to see if they work. I’m not afraid of change, I prefer it!

The idea of writing a blog seems helpful, although I’ve never really been about literally explaining my ideas. I’ve been able to express my vision through pictures, film, style, and music. I’ve always been curious as to how people perceived my image because I never tell them what to think of me. I perform and sit back determining the results.

Going into depth through blogging about my life, goals, and thoughts will be a useful tool for my career.

It is of my opinion that readers can appreciate my writing style; I envision my more creative writing as a means of assembling little works into a larger holistic idea. For example, my own poetry and songwriting have the purpose of inspiring myself…

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Reflection: Having an Identity

I’m looking forward to reading more from this young St. Lawrence College blogger.


Want to be successful? As a young writer, having an identity from experiences are how I become more successful at writing. Identifying my own strengths and weaknesses are key in keeping myself motivated to improve. The personality of a writer is defined by their perception on life, which is derived from the experiences that make them human.

The experiences I’ve shared through publishing photos and videos on social media, has assisted me in making the transition to blogging, as a more professional presence online. My understanding of communication in the world of social media, will further help me create an intriguing image to employers. I find blogging is img_0312similar to LinkedIn, but a more customizable experience that allows me to better share my perception of life.

My strengths within my field of writing have improved since the early Autumn months of 2016. The enhancement of my vocabulary has definitely made a…

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