5 tips for writing blog posts on teaching topics

by Julie Dodd

Every teacher can use some advice about teaching — whether you’re new to teaching, you are new to teaching at the college level, or you are an experienced college teacher.

You may need insights on an issue you’ve never experienced in your teaching, or you may be looking for tips on how to improve some aspect of your teaching.

One great source of potential help is available by doing a Google search on the topic. You’ll find research articles, university teaching centers, and blog posts.

You are joining the education blogosphere by publishing a blog post about the topic of your teaching presentation. For many of you, this is the first time you’ve written a blog post. So here are five tips for writing a post that will be helpful for others and that will bring readers to your post.

  1. Consider your audience.

With a blog post, your writing is on the Internet for anyone to find. Your Mass Communication Teaching (MMC6930) classmates will be referring to your blog post, but the majority of those who will read your blog haven’t heard your teaching presentation.

  1. Recognize the writing style for a blog post.

As a graduate student, you’ve been writing academic articles with multiple citations within the text of your writing and lengthy reference lists. A blog post is different. You want to be researched in what you are presenting, but you don’t need to be as in-depth.

Explain the key points from your presentation, but you won’t be including all the information, examples and activities that you included in teaching class. A strategy for many blog posts is a how-to approach with a list of tips or steps, such as with this blog post.

A blog post is more conversational than writing a research article. You can speak directly to the reader and include your own comments. Write as if you were having a conversation with your readers. For example: I hope you will find these tips to be useful as you repurpose your teaching presentation to be a blog post.

  1. Provide an overview for your topic and key points.

Because most of your readers didn’t hear your teaching presentation in class, you need to provide a concise overview to the topic. Decide what are the most important points for the reader to know and how much detail to include. You aren’t writing a research paper, but you want to provide enough detail for your reader to understand what you are talking about. For example, if you were talking about multiple-choice test construction, you’d want to explain what the parts of a question are.

  1. Include sources for more information on your topic.

You don’t need to include every source you read to help you prepare for your teaching presentation. If you provide a list of eight to ten sources, your reader is thinking, “I have time to check out a couple of sources but not all of these. I wonder which are the best sources.”

So determine the best three or four sources and include those. If any of those sources are websites, please include the URL so I can copy/paste the link into the post to make a hyperlink.

  1. Write a headline with SEO potential.

The way your blog post typically will be found is by someone doing a Google search for the topic. That mean writing a headline with SEO — Search Engine Optimization — potential. So think about that when you write your headline. Consider these headlines for a blog post:

  • Technology uses
  • It’s great when it works
  • Pros of technology use
  • 7 ways to effectively use technology in the college classroom

All of those headlines are accurate, but the last headline is more along the line of what someone might type into a Google search – “using technology in college classroom.”

Following these tips can help you “repurpose” your teaching presentation, moving it from a live classroom presentation to a blog post to extend the reach of your insights to those who will discover your post.

 

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