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Academic Skills Essentials: Blogs

What is a blog?

Blogs or weblogs are records of personal commentary and web links organised chronologically. They are increasingly being used as university assessments.  

 

Why is it significant? 

The use of blogs is growing in significance because it allows people to share their knowledge and reflections and encourages debate.  Successful bloggers have large followings and can foster discussions and debates that circle the globe instantly on any current topic. A well know example of a blog is Twitter, which is a type of microblogging tool. 

This page will guide you through the register, tone and elements of authoring a captivating blog.  

 

When writing a blog, consider the following: 

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  • Use a professional, conversational or reflective, depending on the purpose, discipline and target audience.  
  • Check the marking rubric and assessment instructions to determine this.  
  • Blogs are typically: punchy, captivating, engaging, approachable, and dynamic 
  • short paragraphs;  
  • attention-grabbing headlines;  
  • concise subheadings;  
  • clever use of images and captions;  
  • less formal language;  
  • text interspersed with images,  
  • charts,  
  • captions and highlighted takeaway quotes;  
  • a clear and persuasive viewpoint that draws on evidence such as customer testimonials,  
  • expert quotes,  
  • industry data and  
  • relevant audience opinions.

A blog can vary widely in terms of purpose and target audience, so it is important to weigh these factors up using the following questions: 

What is the purpose of this blog? 
  • To inform 
  • To market 
  • To demonstrate reflection  
  • Other? 
Who is the target audience for this blog? 
  • A certain demographic in society 
  • My lecturer 
  • Fellow students 

It is important to clarify these questions as these will help shape your choices in writing style, image selection and the voice you strike as the author.  

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References

DeMeyer, J. (2014, June 1). How to write the perfect business blog post [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/06/01/how-to-write-the-perfect-business-blog-post/2/#7a2a72f11b46.

Activity

Look at the following sample excerpts from different texts. Which do you think comes from a blog?
Text A 

The degree of responsibility for sustainable outcomes is a complex issue to divide amongst stakeholders. However, there are several measures which can be taken to ensure that multinational companies adhere to sustainable practices through the adoption of social responsibility frameworks (Smith, 2016).  

 

Text B 

So who holds the keys to a sustainable future? 

This is certainly a fraught issue and one that we are likely to grapple with indefinitely as a society. From where we stand, it warrants a lot of thought as on the one hand, Smith (2016) mentions the huge stake transnational companies can potentially have in terms of adopting corporate social responsibility frameworks that support… 

So who holds the keys to a sustainable future? 

This is certainly a fraught issue and one that we are likely to grapple with indefinitely as a society. From where we stand, it warrants a lot of thought as on the one hand, Smith (2016) mentions the huge stake transnational companies can potentially have in terms of adopting corporate social responsibility frameworks that support… 

A combination of:

  • Rhetorical question for a captivating sub-heading
  • Colloquial / casual, conversational language markers
  • Personal pronouns
  • Emotive language

 

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