Tips and Pointers for Blogging with WordPress
It is good practice to write your initial postings and comments in your favorite word processor. Edit them and check them for spelling before you upload them to Word Press. The Word Press editor is functional, but it cannot compete with proper word processors. The simplest way to upload your text is to cut and paste. When you do so, be sure that the text is still formatted in the way you want.
I have found that it is best to add images, links, and media after I have entered the text. The text editor has pretty good tools for doing these things. If you are good with HTML, click the “text” tab in the editor, and you will see the code. This can be adjusted, and sometimes this is much more effective than the formatting tools.
Be sure to save drafts often! It is easy to lose your work.
Aim for initial blog posts to be about 500 words. The WordPress editor shows you the current word count at the bottom left. (This page is 540 words.) It is difficult to develop your ideas adequately in less than 500 words. You may, of course, write longer posts. 1000 words is a good upper limit for a blog.
Once you have published your post, you can still correct errors. However, out of respect for your colleagues who are reading your work, do not publish rough drafts and assume that you will continue to work on them. Publish the draft you want everyone to read. Use the update feature to correct typos.
Matters of Style
Tone is very important. I want you to be critical of ideas, not persons. Some of the issues we will be discussing touch on deeply personal matters. You are likely to get emotionally involved. This blog should be a safe space to critically evaluate ideas and arguments. It is essential, then, that you maintain a respectful tone.
Remember that your audience will read your post with the voices in their head, not with yours. The written word loses the intonation and inflection of speech, so what you think is clever irony may come across as mean sarcasm.
Write with topic sentences. The first sentence of a paragraph should introduce the main idea to be developed in the paragraph. Use arguments to develop your ideas. We are interested in the reasons for your position. A good blog posting on this site should have a single, overall conclusion. You are recommending this conclusion to the audience on the basis of several considerations, or premises.
Use headings to guide the reader through your post.
Well chosen pictures do more than illustrate. They give the reader something to think about in relation to your words. Use images that complement and expand on your arguments.
When you publish your post, you will have the option to choose categories. You can use categories from other posts, or invent your own. At first, we will have to invent categories. As we develop this site, try to use the categories that others have used. We want the categories to be a helpful way of finding similar posts.
This blog is accessible to the public. Your writing is not only representing your ideas, we are representing Emory.
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