Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blogging Assignment Introduction

Blogging Assignment for PSCI 3062

Welcome to the class blog for PSCI 3062: Revolutions and Political Violence!

A significant part of your grade this semester comes from writing and commenting on a class blog. Each student will be charged with providing two specific blog posts during the semester. To ensure we don’t all post at the same time, we will have a sign-up for these blog posts. The purpose of the blog is for everyone to keep up on current events in the Middle East & North Africa, while also providing a forum for you to engage the readings and concepts presented in class in greater depth. Here are some specifics about how to ensure you blog posts receive high marks from the class.

With this assignment, our goal is to keep abreast of the current political situation throughout the Middle East & North African region by analyzing the effects of the Arab Spring on the various countries in the region.

·         Expected length will be around 300-500 words
·         The focus of your blog post will be on your risk analysis country
·         Will provide an analysis of a particular issue or event facing the country chosen for your risk analysis that relates to revolution or political violence  
o   An introduction to the current events issue/news item
o   An explanation of why we should care about this issue
o   An analysis of what could happen based on theories we have discussed in class
o   Recommendations on what should be done for policymakers
·         Incorporates theory/examples from class and/or readings
·         Properly cites the information used to generate the blog post
·         Must be posted by 5pm the day before it is due
·         Be sure to edit! Proper grammar, spelling and historical facts are important. You are broadcasting to a public audience!
o   This also means using jump breaks for your post after a brief introduction!
o   Consider using photos, maps, etc., to illustrate your story
·         Finally, be prepared to introduce the post at the beginning of class

The other aspect of the blogging assignment will be to make sure that each and every student is keeping up with the blog and commentating on the blogs. As it is difficult in a class of forty for everyone to participate, following the blog and participating in the discussion online when you have something to say is important for our class to have a free exchange of ideas. If you do not participate online, your blog grade will suffer!!

The Nitty-Gritty of the Blog Assignment

During the third week of class, you will sign up for your two blog posts
·         You will have one post in the first half and one in the second half of the semester
·         You will receive an invitation to be an author from blogspot to your Colorado email address. Once you sign in as an author, that sign-in will be used for both of your posts, so do not lose that information!
·         You will receive no reminders about when it is your turn to blog. If you miss your date, you will lose one letter grade a day for every day your assignment is past due.
·         Thus, as access as a contributor, you are responsible for uploading your own blog entry. If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to ask BEFORE your blog posting is due!
·         Your grade is determined by the following:
o   Insight provided in the post
o   Professionalism in how the post looks
o   Your level of participation on the blog in the comments

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