Blog for the course offered at Teachers College, Columbia University during Fall 2005

Thursday, September 29, 2005

On reading and writing for this course

I just posted a couple of helpful how-to's to our feed that need a little bit of contextualizing.

This is a graduate course, and it's not the goal of the course to teach you how to read and write at a graduate level. Having said that, all of us (self included) can always use a couple of pointers.

First, I bookmarked a Guide to Reading Social Science: How to Work Through Long Reading Assignments (which I found a while ago in one of the courses offered though MIT's OpenCourseWare; if you've never heard of OCW, I suggest you check it out). This guide contains some good tips on how to approach reading assignments. I want to be very clear that I am not suggesting that you only skim through the readings for this course. Instead, I think these guidelines can help you approach ALL the readings in this course before deciding which ones you want to read more carefully.

The other resource I bookmarked is How to Write an Abstract. Some of this information might seem irrelevant, but I think it many ways writing for a blog is like writing an abstract: one needs to motivate readers and provide information that will let them decide whether the content is relevant to them or not. As someone once told me: Always assume an unmotivated learner/user/reader!

I hope both of these resources are helpful. You may also want to check out Alex Halavais' guidelines to a perfect blog entry.

Keep up the good work!


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