The Dos and Don’ts of Student Blogging
Almost every high school student is on Facebook, Twitter, and every other type of social media these days. Just like most social communities, tweeting and blogging can be used for good or evil. Students who know how to blog the right way can put themselves in a good network for college applications, while students who blog the wrong way can find themselves in a bit of hot water.
Do: Keep everything positive or neutral
Students who write excessively negative personal blogs may be seen as someone who can’t see the good in life or somebody who likes to complain. Of course, there are plenty of bad things out there to discuss, but social media is not the right place for college prep students to post them. Negative comments should be kept off-line and everything displayed on the Internet should be positive or neutral.
Do: Show a balanced view
If students are writing about current events or current affairs, they are encouraged to show a balanced viewpoint as opposed to a simple opinion of their own. Students who can demonstrate that they see both sides, even if they have a strong opinion about one or the other, show that they are not only good writers but balanced journalists and thinkers (READ: “5 Reasons Students Should Blog”).
Don’t: Write about something that is not in your area of expertise
Students who are adept in the world of mobile apps, should consider writing a blog about reviewing these applications. However, if they have never been to the ballet, perhaps a critique on dance is not appropriate. A blog is something that is usually about one topic or a series of related topics and the blogger, regardless of their age, should have at least some expertise in this area.
Do: Mention that it’s a student blog
Someone who is 16 years old is not expected to have the same amount of knowledge or experience as a professional in their 40s. It’s important to be upfront and honest that the blog is written by a student and that they are expressing their own opinion. There’s nothing wrong with having a student blog, in fact it’s a great way to showcase knowledge and talent however, students should not imply that they are attempting to masquerade as a seasoned professional (READ: “6 Ways to Spend Your February Break”).
Do: Link to other helpful sites
Students who are writing about, say, college applications on their blog should consider linking to helpful sites such as local universities, the College Board, the Department of Education, etc… Adding site links makes a blog appear more professional and well thought out, and also makes it more helpful to the reader.
Don’t: Publish a blog without proofreading
Blogs should never be published without a full proofread. The student would never want to showcase that they have grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors throughout their writing (READ: “Five Tips For Success in English Class”). Even the most seasoned professional writer will make mistakes here and there, which is why they either do an extensive proofread on their own or hire an editor. Because blogs are published almost every day, it’s recommended that students get together and help each other proofread so they can catch the most common errors at the very least – remember, you can always ask your private Irvine English tutor to help.
Because blogging is relatively new and is something that students before generation Y didn’t have to think about, many of the seemingly obvious Dos and Don’ts are not adhered to. Students who are considering writing a blog should remember to keep things in a positive light, always be balanced, and also make sure that the language is varied, grammatically correct, and appropriate so that they can communicate well to the reader and showcase their unique talents.
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