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.



About teachingteacher

Business communications instructor, journalist, corporate communications writer and media trainer ... and Masters Candidate M.Ad.Ed.
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