I have consistently found the blogging assignment for this class to be a real challenge for me; it’s the first time I’ve ever been given this kind of assignment and I find it hard to be concise in my writing- I found myself really struggling to write a simple yet professional blog post instead of a full-fledged essay. After looking at my three posts so-far this semester, I found it hard to connect them initially; the content is all over the place, the writing styles vary from post to post (and rather than steadily improving, I showed vast improvement in my second blog from my first, but then downgraded again in my third blog post in comparison with the second!) and I don’t even format them all that similarly. To say the least, this exercise in critically comparing our own writing left me surprised, slightly confused with myself and even embarrassed at times.
My first blog, “What’s in a Name?” is easily recognizable as my test-drive into this type of assignment that (at the time) was completely new to me. The blog was informal in it’s delivery to a fault and comes across as a lazy approach to an otherwise engaging assignment. I ended my post with, “We will just have to stay tuned to A Midsummer Night's Dream to find out just how much Shakespeare considered etymology and Greek mythology in the naming of his characters!” which just comes across as corny, hokey and uncomfortably unprofessional, even for a more lenient writing assignment in terms of formality. Probably the only positive thing I took out of re-reading this blog was the fact that I took the assignment out of our classroom discussions by incorporating my interest in name etymology with the study of Shakespeare; it was just poorly done.
After receiving a (rightfully deserved) poor-grade on my first blog and reading posts my classmates made, I definitely showed improvement in my second post and found a more equal balance between informal writing and strictly structured essay writing. “Faking Hero’s Death; What’s the Point?” was by far my most successful entry because my blog was focused, used examples from the text, showed a clear understanding of the material and expanded upon ideas related to our classroom discussions. Similarly to my first blog post, I decided to instill my already determined interest in Women’s Studies, women’s history and feminism into my blog, similarly to how I incorporated name etymology the first time, just more professionally executed.
I think by the time I wrote my third blog, “Act IV; Has Othello Lost Everything?” I was a little cocky! I felt way more comfortable reading and discussing Shakespeare by this point in the semester than I had when I wrote my first two blogs and really enjoyed discussing any ideas and opinions I had in class (as most of you all know, I’m sure). I remember finding this blog frustrating to write though because I couldn’t really expand my ideas any further than I had in class; I was sure I didn’t have much else to say by the time the assignment was due! Instead I wrote a compelling summary of Othello and nothing else. This blog was nowhere near as strong as my second, but at least not embarrassingly bad like my first!
Overall I’ve found the blogging assignment to be invaluable; it has allowed me to become more comfortable with Shakespeare’s work as a whole (I was very nervous that I couldn’t/wouldn’t understand it the way I do contemporary literature) and with a writing format that I’ve never experimented with. If there’s anything I’d continue to explore in my future blog posts, it’d be incorporating my own interests with our classroom discussions. I’d stray away from summaries and wishy-washy writing. I also need to work on being a little more straight-to-the-point in my writing (ironically supported by the length of this exact post) and making strong arguments for one particular thought rather than loose ones for broad ideas.