20 May 2007

Commenting on each other's work

One powerful features of a blog is the ability to leave comments on postings written by someone else. We have done this for class assignments, when you submitted your answers via the comment section of the class blog. Now, I'd like you to read several of your classmates' blog postings and respond to their ideas. The purpose of this assignment is to promote conversation from your blogs which we can hopefully use as part of a class discussion Wednesday.

There is no one way to comment on a blog. For our class purposes, however, it is important that we make the most out of our reading and commenting. Our comments will be more effective if we follow several guidelines.

First, begin your comment by mentioning something interesting/powerful/positive from the blog posting you have just read. It may help to even repeat and quote from the posting. This way, the response is focused on the ideas in the posting.

Next, provide some transition from what the blog writer is saying and the ideas or points you'd like to make. This is where you could politely disagree or find a place to expand upon the thinking by making a connection.

Finally, end your comment with a strong idea, or clincher. It could be a question or a powerful restatement of the ideas raised in the blog. Think of these like questions or comments you might use during a discussion to keep the conversation going.

Some sentence starters to assist you could include:

  • I agree with you when you say "blah, blah, blah..." and I think _____
  • In your post you say "blah, blah, blah..." but I wonder if ______
  • You write in your post "blah, blah, blah..." and that reminds me of _____
  • In your post you mention from the book "blah, blah, blah..." and I'd like to add _____

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