Friday, August 21, 2009

How to Start a Blog

Go to You should be automatically directed to their start page. Follow the "three easy steps" :
--Create your account using your PCDS e-mail account and a password of your choice (suggestion: use the same account and password for your account). Since your blog will only be read by me and by your classmates, please use your first and last name as your display name; that way I always know whose blog I'm reading and you get credit for having written it.
--Name your blog. Whatever you like, but it's a school assignment, so be appropriate, please. For your blog's url, use firstname-lastname so that we may find each other's blogs easily during the year.
--Select a template for your blog. Pick whichever one you like, with one condition. My eyes are getting older and I can't read text set against a black or dark blue background, so please don't choose one of those templates.

After you create your template, click "start posting" to go to the editing page of your blog. From there, you have one more crucial task. Click the Settings tab, then the e-mail tab. Type my e-mail address in the box marked "BlogSend": ( After I have an RSS feed for your blog, I’ll ask you to turn this setting off. But to get started you need to include this step or you may not receive credit for your blog entries. (IMPORTANT: Be sure to click "Save Settings" before closing this tab.)

Finally, one crucial setting. Open the "comments" tab, scroll down, and click the "NO" button next to a setting called "show word verification for comments." This one is important to save me a great deal of time and bother when I write comments back to you about your blog posts. Again, click "save settings" before you leave this section of your settings.

When you have completed all these steps, click the "Posting" tab and create your first blog entry.

For AP English: Write your first blog about the reading you did this summer. I’m interested not only in the books you chose from my recommendations but also any books you read on your own. Include a list of any books you have read since the beginning of June, both titles and authors, and then write a short piece about ONE of the titles you read. Pick the one that made the strongest impression on you, or the one you enjoyed the most, or the one that stayed with you the longest after you read it. Here is a link to such a piece, one I wrote last summer after I read Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road. As you write, remember to be as specific as you can in your language, your reasons, your examples.

For English IV: Write a blog about the book you chose from the grade 12 Summer Reading List. If you read more than one title from the list, choose the one that made the strongest impression on you. In your blog (500 words or so), identify which aspects of the novel are most prominent, which ones go the furthest to explain the impression the book made on you. Was it an idea, a character who seemed particularly lifelike, a relationship, the ambiguity of the book's ending or meaning, something about the writer's style? Your blog will serve as the first draft of a paper to be turned in next week, so give some thought to identifying and discussing those elements of the book which are most notable.

I recommend that you write, edit, spell-check, and word-count your letter as a word document then paste it into the box on the posting page of your blog. When you're done, give it a title, click the orange button marked "publish post," and voila!—you have created your first blog entry (436).