Saturday, October 22, 2005

Blogging for Research Papers

A while back, Will posed the question about what blogs you would have your students read. It was an excellent question, but I was disappointed in the responses.

Now I’m getting ready to begin a research paper with my juniors and seniors. The past few years we have done a research paper based on a problem that the students identify in society. This might be as local as there are no recreational opportunities for teens in town to more global concerns like the effects of globalization on third world nations. The best papers hinge on students finding a topic they really care about.

In the past we have begun this process with a look at letters to the editor in a variety of newspapers. But with the growth of the blogosphere, it seems to me that there should be much more engaging content out there for my students to read and respond to. Since each student has his or her own weblog, they can create a post that incorporates and responds to an article (or blog) that she feels passionate about (the very essence of good blogging). So I guess I’m looking to teach my students to become bloggers first and hope that the result will be better more passionate and interesting research paper writing. But where to begin? Are there indexes of blogs that contain provocative social problems? Are there particular blogs that would appeal to teens?


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