Assignment 2: Blogging

An important component of our class this semester is our course blog. In addition to in-class discussions, this is where a lot of our discussion and synthesis of key concepts and readings will take place, and where we will integrate our understanding of course content vis-a-vis our own lives and current events.






What are blog posts? The term ‘blog’ is a short for ‘weblog’ – or web-log, which are sites that produce regular content over time (examples include ). Blog posts are pieces of original writing that are short and informal, but analytical in nature. Some describe blog-writing as a ‘diary-like’ writing style, meaning it is personal and inquisitive. However, and very different than a diary, blogs are also PUBLIC and explicitly intended to engage and interact with a public audience. In this class, all of you will be both a blogger and a member of an interactive audience.

For more on Blogs, see Qwriting‘s and WordPress‘s introduction to blogs and blogging.

For examples, see the student blogs QC Voices (maintained by Queens College students) or The Buzz (maintained by students at City Tech) or professional blogs such as Gawker and Daily Kos).

Blogger | Audience

1, Blogger:

Students will blog on 4 occasions throughout the semester.

Blog posts can take many forms. They may just be ‘steam-of-consciousness’ style writing wherein you are critically reflecting on the content we’re discussing in class that week. Blogs can also be more creative in nature. Some suggestions for style and structure are:

  • Find a real world issue that relates to your topic for the week (ex. rezoning in East Harlem, the Low Line, etc) and critically examine the issue through the blog post – What’s the issue? What does the article tell us about the issue? What does course material add to your understanding and questions about the issue? What is your general assessment of the issue?
    • Can be in reaction to a news story video as well.
  • Attend a event related to your topic for the week and give a similar review – What event did you attend? What was it about? Why did you attend? Compare and contrast what you learned with course material- how does course material further ground your understanding of the topic, and how does what you learned give more context or understanding to what was discussed in class.
  • Interview a family member about something related to your topic that week (their housing experiences in NYC, and/or what they know about housing in NYC, etc) – Include a summary of the interview and quotes when appropriate. Why did you choose to interview this person? What does this contribute to your understanding of course material (or an aspect of course material)? How does course material help you understand the content of the interview?
  • Film or Documentary Review – review a film in relation to the topic of the week. What is the film and give a synopsis. Why did you select this film or documentary? How does it relate to course material (what does it contribute to and take from your understanding of course material).
  • Share a poem or a song or lyrics that you think deepens your understanding of course material (i.e. Grandmaster Flash, ‘The Message’ describes Harlem and the Bronx in the 1980s).
  • Share an experience from your life. Maybe you live in a gentrifying neighborhood, or have a family business, or have particular insights into the criminal justice or immigration systems. Share some of your experiences in a way that add to course material, and use course material to deconstruct and investigate your experience. Remember, this is public, so don’t share anything you don’t want to be public.

General Guidelines:

  • Remember, these are public. You should consider the fact that you are writing for audience; and you should consider who you’re talking to.
  • Relatedly, please proofread these and check grammar to be sure they are clear. Remember, you are writing for an audience, with the intention of someone else reading and responding to your writing so clarity is very important.
  • These should be written from your perspective. You’re encouraged to use ‘I’ and give opinions and your own analytic assessments of issues taking place in our city.
  • You should raise questions and points for discussion to engage readers.
  • Include a ‘For Further Reading” with at least one resource.
  • Always hyperlink when appropriate – to information about the event, to the news article or video, any organizations you may mention, etc.
  • Include citations if necessary.
  • These should be a minimum of 500 words.

Posts should also including the following:

    1. Appropriate and thoughtful title
    2. A properly-cited image
    3. Appropriate Topical Category selected (*See list of Topics and due dates below)
    4. Appropriate Group Category selected
    5. 3 tags


2, Audience:

Each week, students will also be expected to comment on the blogs of other members in their group. Students are to comment every week – even during the weeks when they are blogging. Comments are considerably shorter – a paragraph or less usually – though they should be substantive.

Writing “Yea, great!” or “I totally agree” is insufficient. Instead comments should engage a particular point or question in their discussion, ask a question of the writer or larger class community, or engage in a conversation happening in the comments section of a post.



Blogs and Comments will be given a 2, 1, or 0.

2 – Thoughtful, related to coursework and/or the corresponding blog, generative.

1 – Completed, but underdeveloped; could be more thoughtfully composed; forgot to categorize, add image, add title and/or add tags.

0 – Not completed or insufficiently completed


Students will blog on 4 occasions throughout the semester. Students will comment EVERY week, even during weeks when they are blogging.

ALSO – you are not limited to commenting on the blogs of your group members, you may also read and comment on other students posts. However, you are responsible for commenting on the blogs of your group members at the very least.

Due Dates:

Blogs are due by 12midnight on the Friday of each week. Posts will reflect on the content covered in class that past week. Comments are due by 12noon on Sunday.

Though we will be blogging most weeks, there are exceptions (and sometimes other assignments), so please make note of the due dates on our ‘Reading’ page, and below. I have also included the Topical Categories next to the due dates for your convenience.

  • Economic Inequality: BLOGS DUE 12midnight FRIDAY 9/15/17, COMMENTS DUE 12noon SUNDAY 9/17/17
    • Janie, Moustafa, Judy, Mia, Joshua, Emanuel, Iliana, Jessica, Joel, Alexa
  • Historical Development of Cities: BLOGS DUE 12midnight FRIDAY 9/29/17, COMMENTS DUE 12noon SUNDAY 10/1/17
    • Henry, Raquel, Jazlyn, Imran, Eleni, Jessica, Marc, Aviad, John
  • Globalization & Privatization: BLOGS DUE 12midnight FRIDAY 10/6/17, COMMENTS DUE 12noon SUNDAY 10/8/17
    • Ronel, Judy, Mia, Henry, Musa, Marc, Forrest, Aviad, John
  • Welfare & Low wage work: BLOGS DUE 12midnight FRIDAY 10/6/17, COMMENTS DUE 12noon SUNDAY 10/8/17
    • Raquel, Joshua, Mia, Jazlyn, Janie, Ronel, Forrest, Giuseppe, Joel, Alexa
  • Residential Segregation: BLOGS DUE 12midnight FRIDAY 10/27/17, COMMENTS DUE 12noon SUNDAY 10/29/17
    • Moustafa, Jazlyn, Imran, Joshua, Henry, Iliana, Guiseppe, Alexa, John
  • Housing Affordability: BLOGS DUE 12midnight FRIDAY 11/10/17, COMMENTS DUE 12noon SUNDAY 11/12/17
    • Joshua, Emanuel, Imran, Sam, Eleni, Moustafa, Giuseppe, Joel, Sekai
  • Public Space: BLOGS DUE 12midnight FRIDAY 11/17/17, COMMENTS DUE 12noon SUNDAY 11/19/17
    • Ronel, Eleni, Judy, Sam, Emanuel, Musa, Iliana, Jessica, Sekai, Aviad
  • Criminal Justice: BLOGS DUE 12midnight FRIDAY 11/24/17, COMMENTS DUE 12noon SUNDAY 11/26/17
    • Musa, Emanuel, Sam, Judy, Ronel, Forrest, Marc, Joel, Sekai, Henry
  • Immigration Policy: BLOGS DUE 12midnight FRIDAY 12/1/17, COMMENTS DUE 12noon SUNDAY 12/3/17
    • Eleni, Janie, Sam, Imran, Raquel, Musa, Iliana, Forrest, Alexa, Sekai
  • Environmental Justice: BLOGS DUE 12midnight FRIDAY 12/8/17, COMMENTS DUE 12noon SUNDAY 12/10/17
    • Giuseppe, Marc, Emanuel, Raquel, Jazlyn, Mia, Moustafa, Janie, John, Aviad
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