Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blog highlights

You have been posting some great content on your blogs over the past few weeks.  Here are some notable posts and comment threads that you shouldn't miss.
There is lots of other great content, so mention your favorites as a comment.  And I have not read posts from the last two days yet.  Look for some of those in a future highlight post.

UPDATE:  I have been reminded that Dr. Isis visited another post as well.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Blogging and plagiarism

Blogging by its very nature is a mashup.  Many posts combine ideas from other sources and add their own angle on the topic.  So what are the guidelines for properly attributing original sources? Perhaps a good approach to this question is to look at how it should not be done.

Check out this example before coming to class on Wednesday.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another week, another post(s)

Great start on your blogs and nice discussion of science writing this past Wednesday.  I am especially impressed with luring Dr. Isis to leave comments on two of your posts, and your continuing debate on chiropracty.

In addition to some catch up for some of you on your posting and commenting, here are your assignments for this coming week:
  1. Write one more post this week (added to your blog).  This should be a longer post (still less than 800 words).  But not just a short reference to something.  You can develop one of the ideas you shared in class this past week, or do something different.  Try to incorporate the science writing ideas we talked about this past week.
  2. Leave comments on at least two posts from the other course blogs.
  3. Next week we will start assembling a list of what every well-educated biologist should know.  Before next week's class make note of at least 10 items that you think should go on that list.
  4. Check back in a day or so for a reading assignment for next week.
And Happy Darwin Day!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Some blog tech tips

Good job on the great posts so far.  I thought I would point out a couple of details about the blogger platform that would add to the look of your posts:
  1. Use hyperlinks when referring to a webpage.  Highlight the text that you want to use as the hyperlink, and then click on this button in the Blogger "Compose" panel: .  Now you paste the web address of the webpage into the window that pops up.  You should always use this method to reference other webpages if you refer to them or use their information.
  2. If you quote from a webpage, use this button to start an indented quote section: .  This is a standard practice in the blogosphere.
  3. Want to make a fancy bulleted or numbered list?  Use one of these buttons:  
  4. And as some of you have already realized, using images in your posts is a great idea.  Not always necessary, and try not to be gratuitous, but they can really jazz things up.  This button will allow you to upload a picture from your computer, or use a picture directly from another webpage: 
  5. This last tip is not about tech.  Be sure to proof your posts as I am noticing a few typos and grammatical errors creeping in.  A good rule is to wait 15 minutes after writing something to proof it, or have a friend look it over for you.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The blogs are live

Congrats on getting your blogs up and going.  I think their names alone will draw some interest.
Here are the links to your blogs:
Add them to your Google Reader accounts so that you can keep up with the latest posts.  They are also part of the blogroll on this blog.

As a reminder, here are your assignments for the coming week:
  1. Add the two posts that you wrote in the past week to your new blog.  Trickle them in during the week as you planned in class today.
  2. If you have not done so already, email me the URL for your blog, or leave it as a comment to this post.
  3. Leave comments on at least two posts from the course blogs.  Try to add something to the post - don't just say "hey, nice post."
  4. Come to class next week with two new post ideas.  In class I asked you to write a new post - BUT INSTEAD, I would like you to think of two ideas for future posts that you can share with the class.  YOU DO NOT NEED to write the posts themselves.
  5. Read the new handout on science writing.  Try using the advice you have been reading when thinking about blog ideas or how you might write your next post.
And lastly, one Blogger tip - if you want to cut and paste your writing into the "post writing" window in Blogger, you have to use the "Edit Html" tab.  Notice that at the top of the window where you write your posts there are two tabs - "Compose" and "Edit Html".  The "Compose tab lets you change fonts, add hyperlinks, etc.  But to cut and paste in any text you need to use the "Edit Html" tab, and then switch back to "Compose" for the other features.

Have fun and leave comments if you are having any technical, or other, issues.  I will leave some additional posts this week on some of the settings you can tweak with Blogger.