Why Blog?

You might very well be asking yourself, why should I be blogging for an English class? And I think it’s a fair question, so let me give you the best answer that I can.

In the first place, you should expect that a class in the English department will help you refine your ability to write. From my own experience, I have found that the best way to improve one’s writing is to practice. Thus, this blog is a place for you to practice your writing. And not just any writing, but careful and thoughtful writing that seeks to answer the two questions of literary study: “what?” and “how?”

But why a blog? Why can’t you just write assignments, print them out, and hand them in? While literary studies might seem to be a very solitary task–a single author responding on her own to a single-authored text–it is in fact a conversation. Of course, one is always in “conversation” with the text being examined, but a good writer is also in conversation with others writing about the same text. You’ve done this in the past when writing research papers. When blogging you broaden your audience: suddenly your classmates can be in conversation with you…even when we’re not in the classroom.

Okay, so we want to practice writing and to engage one another in our understanding of the texts at hand. But why do this on a public blog (i.e., not Blackboard) where *gulp* someone might find what Ihave to say? Quite simply: the more the merrier in a conversation. If we draw attention from the outside world, it will help us remember that college is not simply preparation for “the real world” but that it is in fact a vital part of the “real” world.