Hello, and welcome to our discussion blog!

Instead of using the discussion forum in Blackboard, this semester we will use a blog as a space to curate and share timely and credible Web sources, analyze current social issues, and develop a conversation about the discourse themes of inclusion + exclusion, conformity + rebellion, and power + powerless. This Weblog will enable you to situate your conversations in a public sphere and share resources and engage with others who may be interested in what you have to say.

In other words, purpose of our discussion blog is to bring our conversations about social issues to a public stage. Too often we read, discuss, and write in our college classes for hypothetical audiences. This time, our (world wide) audience is real and they have access to our conversations.

As a contributor to this blog, you have the ability to create content (a post), assign your content to a specific category (the discourse themes we cover this semester), publish your content, respond to your classmates, and engage in conversation with our academic community and beyond.

These topics are extremely complex and sensitive in nature, and we must acknowledge they cannot be fully addressed in our brief eight-week course. It’s also important to recognize we aren’t experts on these topics; the goal in these discussions is for us to listen to each other and learn, acknowledge our diverse array of experiences, thoughts, fears, and hopes, pose questions and insights, and further complicate the larger, ongoing conversation. What you won’t do in this blog is “attack” those whose viewpoints differ from your own, or express your own viewpoints in an aggressive or narrow-minded ways. (Such behavior would reflect poorly on your classroom citizenship… and your course grade). Everyone will not necessarily agree, and that’s okay; the goal is to better understand one’s own viewpoint and the perspectives of others, without sacrificing the spirit of inquiry and cooperative learning.

If you need technical help learning how to create, categorize, add tags to, and publish a post, scroll to the bottom of this page for links to step-by-step WordPress tutorials.


  1. Read the required and recommended sources.

For each unit, start by reading all of the sources that I have selected and published to the blog. These sources will provide the foundation for the discussions and writing projects in each unit.

  1. Share a timely, credible source that furthers our conversation.

Remember: Before sharing an annotated Web source, you are required to first read the sources posted to the blog by your instructor. These sources will give you an understanding of the topic and help frame your own Web research.

For each discourse unit, you will share 1 credible, annotated Web source that furthers the discussion of a particular discourse theme. You will also make a connection between your source and one of the required readings. Then, you will respond to your colleagues’ sources, generating a discussion.

Create a New Post:

  1. Give your post a title (it should be creative and reflect your topic and focus).
  2. Compose the the following content (approximately 450+ words):
    1. Who: Type the correct work cited entry in APA format with link to original source
    2. What: (100+ words): Write a brief summary of the source. What does this article or essay tell us? Give us enough information to demonstrate that you have a good understanding of the source.
    3. Why: (250+ words): Why did you choose this source? What makes it a relevant addition to the conversation? Explain the connection to our discourse theme, and in doing so, synthesize an idea from one of the required blog readings. (Be sure to properly introduce the source and provide the necessary in-text citation)
    4. How: (100+ words): How did you react to this source as you read it? What did you find most interesting, shocking, or confusing? Give reasons that explain. What questions does this source raise, questions that may be worthy of further exploration?
  3. Save your draft as you work.
  4. Assign your post to the specific thematic category from the list provided (see the tutorial for adding categories to your blog posts).
  5. Tag your post with key words that reflect the discourse theme and topic (see the tutorial for adding categories to your blog posts — and also select from the commonly used key words provided).
  6. Review, edit, and publish your post. (Be sure to save your draft as you are working.)

Respond to colleagues’ posts + comments on your own posts:

  1. Read and respond to at least 4 of your colleagues’ posts for each discourse theme.
  2. Respond in the comments section at the end of the post. Blog comments, by their very nature are brief. You must learn to edit and condense your ideas to succinctly share the most poignant and critical information. In a few sentences, ask a question, politely agree or disagree, and most importantly, contribute something new to the conversation. Your response should be roughly 5 to 7 sentences in length.

Go back to your original post and review comments from your colleagues. Respond as needed. Then, go back to the comments you posted to others’ sources — have they responded to you? Keep the conversation going! Your score for weekly discussions will be based, in part, on your ability to continue the conversation.


How to create and publish a post

How to categorize a post

How to add tags to a post