This semester, our class will use WordPress a way to write online and participate in a public world beyond the walls of the university. So you’ll need to sign up for and get to know this blogging platform.
- If you already have a WordPress account that you want to use for this class, great. Proceed to step 3. If you don’t want to use your personal account for this class (which is fine) or don’t already have a WordPress account, proceed to step 2.
- Visit WordPress’s sign up form. In the form that comes up, enter your email address, a username (can be anything–feel free to choose something other than your name or an easily identifying name), and a password. Create your account.
- Now check your UMN email inbox for an email from me inviting you to join our course website. Click the link in the email to join as an Author of our course blog. Now you’re officially on WordPress!
- You have the option to customize your WordPress account by uploading a photo of either you or something else and modifying the settings.
How to Post Something to Our Blog
- Go to our course website (femfilm15.wordpress.com). Scroll down to the bottom and click on the blue “+” to find the “Meta” section. Click on “Log In”. Log in with your WordPress username and password. This will take you to the Dashboard of our course site, which is the back end of the site. From here you can add content to the site (this is also the part of the site that only people in this class–and I–can see).
- Find the “Posts” tab on the left side of the Dashboard screen (it has an icon of a thumbtack next on it). Let your mouse hover over this tab, and you will see a drop-down menu. Click on “Add new.”
- From here you can enter your post in the text box. Check out this page for instructions on how to navigate the Posts screen.
How to Comment on Someone Else’s Post
- Find the post you want to comment on and scroll down to the bottom. Find the text box under the phrase “Leave a reply.” Click your mouse inside the text box. A Drop-down menu will appear under the text box requiring you to log in (if you are not already logged into WordPress). Log in with your WordPress username and password.
- Then enter your comment in the text box and click “Post Comment.”
- You can edit comments you’ve made (and add links) by clicking on the “Edit” link at the top of your comment.
Instructions for All Assignments (including Blog Posts)
- Title your assignments. “Blog Post 1″ and “Final Project” are boring titles, and tell readers nothing about your work. Pick something descriptive of what your assignment actually addresses.
- Categorize your posts. Available categories include “Media Example” “Oppositional Gaze Blog Post” “Feminist Video Essay,” etc. Do NOT use the “Uncategorized” category (again, it’s quite boring and nondescriptive).
- Tag your posts with at least one tag that identifies a topic or key concept in your post. Unlike with categories (which you choose from an already provided list), tags can be anything you want. Some ideas for tags: feminism, the gaze, postcolonialism, Minneapolis, events, etc.
- Check the word count found at the bottom of the post window when you’re composing/editing it. Make sure your assignment meets the minimum word count requirement (image/video captions and works cited lists do not count toward the minimum required word counts).
- Your ability to communicate effectively in written form comprises a large portion of your success in the class. You are expected to put together engaged and well-written assignments. All written assignments (including blog posts) should be professional and well-organized, make a clear and compelling argument, contain a thesis statement, fully cite all sources, and use textual evidence and exposition. Additionally, all assignments must cite their sources using MLA citation format, and include BOTH in-text parenthetical citations and a complete works cited list.
- Don’t include personal contact information in your posts, either your contact information or that of someone else.
- Make sure you’ve actually read the websites you link to. You wouldn’t want to accidentally link to something you just read the headline of, only to find out it made an oppressive argument with which you don’t want to be associated.
- Don’t post photos or videos of others without their permission. Photos and videos already posted online in a public forum may be re-posted on our blog only if those images are declared by their owner to be freely available for re-posting, and you include a link to and citation for those images/videos. For more information, see University of Minnesota’s guide on fair use.
Be prepared for disagreements from classmates and other people reading our public course blog and our course tweets. Lively, respectful debate is productive, and we all learn better from being pushed to articulate our own arguments clearly and genuinely listening to and learning from the arguments of others. We all are responsible for the things we say in class, write on this public website, and tweet on Twitter. Keep this in mind when writing things that have an impact on other people’s lives. Hateful language (including homophobia, transphobia, racism, and sexism) will not be tolerated, their authors will be reprimanded, and tweets/posts that include this will be removed.
How To Guide Developed by: Dr. Cathy Hannabach