An Email I Just Wrote

One of you emailed me recently, asking what I was looking for in the blog post due tomorrow and how long it should be. This was my reply:

I’m actually hoping to be surprised. I have a couple of ideas about why I assigned both of these readings for the same day, but I bet there are a lot more connections between the two than I have thought of. So your task is to look for any and all connections you can find. Many of the connections won’t be very obvious, because the chapters really are about very different things on the surface. But why do you think I assigned them on the same day? Can an idea from one be applied to another?

In terms of length, there’s no minimum requirement. I find that when I give a word-count limit, most students write just to that point and stop, even if they were in the middle of saying something interesting! But it’s true that writing more is a strong sign that you’re taking the assignment seriously and found some really cool connections to talk about. So write as much as you can, and stop when you run out of things to say. (But sometimes, I think when you run out of things to say, you probably have a couple more things lingering that just haven’t found their way out yet. If it were me, I would write a draft and then come back later to add more, just in case more good ideas come out in meantime.)

Feel free to be informal in these reading response posts. I’m much more interested in hearing your ideas than anything else. So it’s okay to go off on tangents, and to not use formal organization, and to say whatever you’re thinking. Of course, don’t use grammar so bad that I can’t understand you–but I’m not grading down for things like commas, either. This isn’t like a rhetorical analysis assignment. Also, if I mentioned something specific in response to your first post, be sure to address that this time!

I hope that helps?