COMM 4320: Political Campaign Communication
In groups of 5, students will contribute to a class WordPress weblog (blog) focusing on one aspect of the 2016 general Presidential election cycle. Each group member blogs once per week on her or his assigned day (Sunday – Thursday) and assigned days stay the same throughout the assignment. Students are not expected to have any blogging or campaign experience to take part in the course. It is important, however, that students are willing to participate both in class and on the group weblog.
By mid-September students will be assigned to groups using the “Groups” tool in eLC. There you will find your group members and your group topic. Students will receive an email in their UGA account inviting them to join the WordPress weblog. The email will include your username (your UGA MyID) and an automatically generated password that we recommend you change after you have logged in to make it easier to remember.
The blogging assignment runs for 6 weeks beginning on October 2, 2016. 5 out of the 6 blogs will be graded, making each graded blog worth 20% of the overall blogging assignment grade. The decision of which weeks your posts will be graded will be decided randomly. Therefore, in order to ensure maximum points, students should complete all 6 blogging opportunities. Blogs should be posted by midnight on the day they are due:
Blogging & Commenting
Each blog post should be between 250-400 words and must be linked to your assigned group category to receive a grade. Blogs may take the form of commentary, analysis of a news story, analysis of a political cartoon that focuses on your candidate or issue. Be creative! An ideal post offers one clear, compelling argument within the first three sentences of the post, 3 – 5 distinct sections of explanation and a strong conclusion. The remainder of the post might include:
- A snappy heading
- Links & key words
- Connections to current events or previous blog posts
- Supporting evidence (charts, examples, sound bytes, videos, images)
- Concepts from class material
While you may (and should!) quote from and link to other articles, you should always be sure that (1) you make it very clear when you are quoting from someone else and reference that person or organization carefully and (2) quotations should account for no more than 100 words in any blog post (in other words, it isn’t enough to quote from an article—the main thrust of the post should be your ideas). Posts must be linked to your assigned group category to receive a grade.
Students will also be expected to provide at least one meaningful comment per week on a post from a student in their group. Comments should be designed to react and respond to the initial post in a professional manner. The best comments are those that advance and deepen the conversation advanced in a comment. Good discussion in the comment section can also lend itself to new posting threads.
Posts are scored as follows:
10 points: Exceeds expectations, displays creativity & critical thinking, thorough analysis
8-9 points: Meets expectations, some creativity & critical thinking, some analysis
6-7 points: Below expectations, little creativity or critical thinking, little analysis
5-6 points: Deficient, no creativity or critical thinking, no analysis
This is a written assignment that will be graded. Our expectation is that individuals will produce their own posts and those posts will comport with expectations for written work found in the UGA Honesty Code.