Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Shout-Out to Stacie. And Analysis.

So, as I made clear in my first post, this blog came into being because it was an assignment for my ENGL 295 class at BYU. Now, for that same class, I am going to analyze one of my classmates' blogs based on the criteria. I'd also like to take a look at how effective that criteria was in helping my classmates and I develop our blogs.

Stacie... Tea Party Movement and Women's Suffrage.

Stacie Farmer in my class did her research blog based on comparing and contrasting the woman's suffrage movement (as is portrayed in Iron-Jawed Angels) with the Tea Party Movement, as well as other online protest. Stacie's main arguments are laid out in three "hub" posts, which are spaced between other posts of more variety or expository nature. Here thesis is really in the last of these hub posts. The thesis maybe could have come earlier in the semester, but I think it works where it is too.

Strong Points
Development/Post Variety: It is easy to see how Stacie's ideas took form. She covers everything from Mormon Feminist Housewives to business blogging and then settles on discussing the Tea Party Movement. I think that this shows that Stacie worked hard to really see what direction she could go in. This is the kind of self-directed learning we talked about in class. Stacie also documents her research on scholars and her efforts in contacting those scholars. Again, I think this shows how she was willing to take initiative and also covers the criteria point of Interactivity and Community. I also think Stacie does a good job of focusing on correct Length. This is something I have (and continue to) struggle with, so I appreciate that Stacie's posts are not too long, but do give enough valid information to be engaging. I also think Stacie does a good job incorporating media, such as pictures and video, to her blog. One thing I noticed from the beginning in looking at Stacie's blog was her ability to incorporate Links into her discussion. Sometimes these links go to other sites, and sometimes they go to videos. It's not always perfectly clear what the links are going to be too, but the links are always pertinent and beneficial.

Just a Few Suggestions
The first of Stacie's more expository blog posts does deal primarily with her literature. However, I think her Analysis could have been a bit more in depth. She maybe should have drawn more conclusions from Iron-Jawed Angels than just the fact that the Women's Right Movement was very physical in nature. This goes along with the points of Currency/History and Sources. As I read Stacie's blog this past semester, and as I'm looking at it now, I don't remember there necessarily being a great deal of scholarly support for her arguments. However, she did get in contact with a scholar she found on Amazon, which does add weight to her ideas.

The Criteria
I do think that the criteria listed here are good tools to analyze and provide focus for our research blogs. I will be perfectly honest. When I realized that this class was going to focus on new media, which was going to mean that my classmates and I would be blogging, I was a bit worried about the material I was going to learn. But, as my classmates and I followed the criteria, we were able to learn about new media while engaging with critical texts while also coming in contact with real people studying our topics. Not only that, but incorporating media and a "personality" on our blogs is going to prep us for the future, where things like that really do matter. The only criteria that may be missing from the list is the need to comment on our classmates blogs throughout the semester. This kind of "gift economy" attitude is incorporated in the criteria through such things as Community, but we talked a lot in class about commenting on our classmates' blogs, so it makes sense that this would be spelled out in the class criteria as well.

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