A Genre Analysis of Graduate-Level Reading Response Blogs Essay

A Genre Analysis of Graduate-Level Reading Response Blogs Essay

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Introduction

As a community, academics are increasingly accepting the use of public, online, journal style writings known as weblogs (blogs) as a valid pedagogy for the classroom. The attraction of using blogs within a classroom setting stems mainly from the discursive possibilities that the new technology offers: namely, that blogs allow for a discussion of nearly any topic in a socially moderated medium that encourages participants to compare, expand upon, and modify their understanding of that topic in relation to the ideas of their peers. While these discourses may serve any variety of purposes, one growing use of the medium is as a format for reading responses—a somewhat traditional pedagogical approach within Composition Studies, but now modified by this new digital medium to allow for a discussion of course readings, rather than an isolated and individual response. In other words, the genre of the reading response blog allows the discussions of course texts, which traditionally take place in the classroom after the students have written a response to the text, to be initiated or conducted entirely within a social and public space.

In this particular analysis, I will analyze examples of this genre from a graduate seminar, where students are responding not only to the texts but to the ideas and reflections of their peers as well. These examples are all drawn from public blog postings from a single week’s readings, early in the semester, in order to examine the moves made by these students and how, within the framework of a course assignment, they form a discourse community. It should be noted, of course, that one of the samples is my own blog, and that I will therefore be approaching this genre as both a participant a...


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