It’s All Out There Now

I have to say, this was definitely not what I expected when I filled out the application for the writing minor. Blogs, videos, e-portfolios? I think I was expecting the more archaic essay after essay after essay written with feather quills and ink. I probably wouldn’t have agreed with Clark a few months ago, but now, her points about the age we live in and the versatility that comes with digital writing seem like common sense. It seems silly, but her article really made me think about how big and permanent of a place the internet really is. With the digital age of writing, we have the power to effectively create our identities on the web through our writing. It is so much easier to lay out the exact person we want to be, and to share intimate stories with potentially millions of people. But it’s so easy to forget that what we put out there does actually stay out there forever. Especially with things like blogs, which are usually very informal and reflect the writer’s thoughts and feelings on a particular subject, it’s easy to lose sight of what may or may not be appropriate to post in a class setting.

I also agreed strongly with her points about how online blog posts could facilitate discussion between students. I think it’s much more engaging to be able to have a conversation about a particular reading and get feedback from other students instead of just doing individual assignments. It gives us the chance to learn from our classmates as well and to have our own ideas challenged and reinforced. It gives us the opportunity to voice our own opinions and thoughts about pieces we read instead of regurgitating points we think we should make in order to get a good grade on an essay.

Clark mentioned how she had her students do digital projects about things they were passionate about, similar to our remediation projects, and I think this type of project forces us to expand our ranges as writers to think how to convey our words in different modes and to get a better understanding of what it is that we really want to say with our writing. If we are careful and are mindful of the context of our writing, digital media can help us discover more about our own identities as writers, and I think that is really cool.

While there are issues with using informal modes of writing for professional purposes, I think overall, I would agree with Clark that digital writing creates so many possibilities for us as writers and is a really effective tool in a class setting.

Sonalee Joshi

Sonalee is a fourth year student in the College of LSA with an Honors major in Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience with a Sweetland Minor in Writing.

2 thoughts to “It’s All Out There Now”

  1. Really enjoyed your post – I totally agree with just about everything you said so I’m having trouble thinking of something interesting to comment. It was a really great point you raised about being mindful of what we post. Even though it is just a class blog, you’re absolutely right that everything we put out on the web is out there forever, so we should never post anything we wouldn’t be comfortable attaching our name to in the future. Though I can’t think of anything I would want to take back, I think I’ll still be more mindful of it in the future.

  2. I completely agree with your thought that “it’s easy to lose sight of what may or may not be appropriate to post in a class setting.” One of the guiding themes of my ePortfolio I’m trying to illustrate is the idea that writing is more than just essays (despite what most high school and college experiences imply otherwise). I originally had a very hard time using informal language in blog posts just because I was so used to writing formal essays. As you mentioned, I think this is one of the great things about digital rhetoric; it exposes us to many different genres and allows students to diversify their skill-set in regards to how they handle more informal mediums.

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