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Resource Project Outline

Written by Lou Buran
September 10, 2010

Add to comment template and use as grading criteria


Tags help the site site organize the content and help readers find posts in which they are interested.  I use tags to organize the assignments that I grade.   If there is a specific tag that is associated with an assignment, it must be tagged properly or it won’t get read. To add a tag:When you first create a post or when you are editing a post, select a word that categorizes your post. Tags should describe what your post is basically about.  If you would like to add more than one tag, separate the tags with a comma.  It is best to limit your tags to two or three.



You must enter a title for each piece of content that you create.  Make sure that the title is catchy and provides clues about what your post is about.  Don’t use a generic title.  Online writers like their titles to be unique so that the title stands out from all of the other content.  Each word in the title should be capitalized.  Make sure that you spell words correctly in the title.  After all it is the first thing readers see.  The title is displayed right above you name.  You want it to make a good impression.



The teaser is basically the “introduction” of your post.  Teasers are the first 800 letters (including spaces) of your post.  This paragraph is normally all that is displayed on the front page.  A reader will read your teaser and then decide whether or not they want to “read more”.  Try to catch the reader’s attention while at the same time providing an introduction to your topic with just enough information to   get her started.


quote (blockquote)

In “academic writing” we support our own ideas (claims) with the writings of others.  Research some supporting information (you are sitting in front of a computer after all).  The strongest types of support are fact based. Find some statistics that reinforce your claim. Another strong type of support is an anecdote.  See if you can find an “expert” on the topic who has said or written something that supports your ideas.  It is also sometimes effective to make emotional appeals.  See if you can find a personal story that supports your claim.

If you have a short quote, introduce the reader to the quote then include it wrapped in quotation marks. If you have a longer quote, introduce the quote then wrap it in a blockquote (using the “blockquote” button.  The site will style the information within a blockquote in a fancy way that adds emphasis to your support and makes your post look more sophisticated.


citation (link)

When using someone else’s writing to support your own ideas, you must give them credit.  it is not only a courtesy but it is a requirement.  Otherwise, you can be accused of plagiarism.  The common way to “cite” your source online is to provide a link to the website from which you got the information.  Select a word from the introduction to your quote and then hit the add link button.  Copy the url from the site where you got the information and paste it into the box brought up by the “add link” button.  Ideally the  word which you select will describe the page that is linked.  A link will be highlighted by the web site and will be “clickable” by the reader.



Blogs allow writers to express their ideas to a wide audience.  Academic writers make a claim about something that they believe and then support that claim using researched evidence.  A claim is an opinion and must be arguable.  Online readers love to read about ideas and love comment on them.  In order to have a discussion, a claim must be asserted.  Hopefully you will get comments from readers who agree and disagree with you. 


support (research)

A great claim must have support to back it up.  Readers will want to know what “proof” that you have for your ideas.  Remember that like you, they will be sitting at a computer.  If you don’t prove that your claim is valid, a reader can refute your claim using her own research.  Find a fact that has been published by an authoritative source.  Find a story from someone who shares your ideas.  Find an expert on the topic who has said or written an idea that supports your own.


structure (paragraphing)

You must organize your post in a way that makes your thinking clear to the reader.  Human beings naturally categorize concepts.  It is helpful to you (the writer) and it is necessary for the reader that your thoughts are organized into paragraphs.  A paragraph is not a measurement.  It can be one sentence short or 20 sentences long.  A paragraph groups ideas together.  You wouldn’t necessarily want a fact about your claim in the same paragraph as an emotional appeal that you are making (or you might).  It is common to divide posts (like essays) into a teaser (introduction), several supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion.



One of the wonders of using online tools is their capability to handle multimedia.  Images often speak louder than words.  21 Century readers are expecting media such as photos, audio, movies, animations, illustrations, graphs, tables, etc. in posts.  See if you can use the media section of the tool bar to upload, embed and link to media that will not only support your claim but add interest and style to your post.  



Often times, poor writing gets in the way of ideas.  Misspellings, incorrect grammar, and  misplaced punctuation not only creates a bad impression in the mind of the reader but can confuse the message that you are trying to communicate.  This site has a built in spell checker.  You also have the ability to preview your post before publishing.  Please read over your post and fix errors before publishing.  If you are concerned about not catching all of the errors, have a friend or peer read over your work before posting to help you identify and fix errors.  

“Texting” language is inappropriate for a blog considering that a spell check function is available, you are sitting at a full keyboard, your post length is not limited, and the tone you that you want to create should be academic.



Mr. Buran’s Courses is not a social web-site.  I take the work on the site seriously and I expect the work on the site to written with an academic intent.  You should want to impress not only your teacher with your posts but the world.  Readers of your writing should understand from your tone that you are taking your writing seriously and that you respect them.  I don’t mean that your posts have to be serious.  The topics that you choose can be fun, humorous, or even silly.  How you write about the topics, however, should demonstrate to the reader that you are a significant writer.