Thursday, March 5, 2009

Get to the Point....PLEASE!

Inside the Monument - London by nick.garrod
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License
Today's post is an editorial statement that professional blogs should be written in a professional manner!

Have you ever had a teacher who took half the class time for their lesson introduction, aka anticipatory set? Well, it seems that can also happen online. Today, I read an author's post that rambled across the topic throughout half the blog, and the introduction still didn't INTRODUCE the main focus of the article.

I am wondering if I should have higher expectations for a university official with a doctorate than a high school student?

What could the author do to more effectively get to the point? I think the wandering blogger should eliminate the top part of the post, it wouldn't have been missed. Minimally, the author could let the post rest and look at it again later. Maximally, a university official could enlist an editor.

This experience taught me a good lesson today. Every story should have a beginning, a middle and an end, and the author should not make you wander in the desert before they get to the point. It takes time to read or even scan recommended articles, and TIME is a fixed parameter, even in the virtual world.


Sharon Elin said...

You're so right! It is frustrating to wait for someone to gather their thoughts when they speak or write, but particularly when they write. When a writer rambles and meanders all over the place, it weakens the message.

In writing (unlike in speech), there should be adequate time for planning, prewriting, editing, and revision -- so why do so many people publish what appears to be their first draft?

At the risk of sounding like a grammar and composition snob, I think bloggers need to start reviewing their posts before publishing them. Perhaps if someone has -- or knows of -- a comprehensive blogging rubric, we could begin pushing for higher standards for blog posts.

As an educator, I insist on higher standards when students post to the web. They shouldn't be encouraged to post any random thought without good form and then defend it by saying "it's self-expression." I tell students that burping is self-expression, too, but a burp shouldn't speak for you. A blog post, on the other hand, is supposed to speak for you, so make each one your best work.

I would expect even higher standards from a teacher, professor, or other professional.

...I don't know. After reading over this comment, I sound like a party pooper and a stuffed shirt. I guess there's a time for relaxed conversation, too. The important distinction is to keep the audience in mind and make your point!

samccoy said...

Sharon, you are no party pooper. Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

Blog authors could even ask a friend or like-minded colleague to edit their writing. I know I always work better in a team. Sometimes, I ask my teen to read a post, especially if I am very passionate about the topic.

There are some blogging rubrics floating around our network, but this writer is in the upper strata...maybe these rubrics are not available there.

Thanks for your humorous slant on "self-expression". I will remember that.