Blog 3

Access the file for Blog 3 here.


Medium Multimodal Blog Post on your own WordPress Blog
Elements At least 1 direct quote from Benzon’s article
At least 3 visuals (image, embedded video, screenshot)
Makes an argument
Detailed description of Maulthrop’s text with link
Bibliography for all works used
Length Approx. 500 words (or 2 pages double-spaced)
Due February 12, before class begins

In his essay “Why I Don’t Read Books Much Anymore” Morris Freedman discusses the reasons that the “book” format has become antiquated and virtual adaptations have taken over. He notes that shifting to reading “ephemera” rather than entire traditional texts has benefitted him;

I am confident that I cover a wider, more diverse, and even a more nourishing intellectual landscape at this point in my life by grazing widely, occasionally pausing to linger over an appetizing patch, rather than feeding narrowly and deeply all the time. (Freedman)

His analogy is lively, as he suggests the image of a cow grazing, here, with all the pleasure this brings. Freedman finds (animalistic?) pleasure in reading metadata and (what Paul Benzon coins) “paradata.” In fact, in his essay “The Poetics of Metadata and the Potential of Paradata” Benzon notes some opposing findings to Freedman’s personal experience when he observes that, “I’ve detected a low level background hum in the conference rooms, a kind of anxiety about digital texts and how we interact with them” (Benzon). Benzon goes on to tease out these “anxieties” around digital texts by using two works as examples: We Feel Fine and The Whale Hunt.  Each of these digital texts, according to Benzon, has the potential to shift paradigms around writing and reading.  For example, he argues that We Feel Fine include four salient characteristics that can bring change; he notes that it’s “inviting, it’s paradata, it’s open, its juicy” (ibid).

This blog entry asks that you synthesize Benzon’s argument with your own reading/ understanding of Stuart Maulthrop’s digital texts.


For this blog, read through Benzon’s article (linked above) and use one of the digital texts by Stuart Maulthrop (which we look at for class) to either counter or forward Benzon’s rather idealistic argument about the benefits of paradata.  Feel free to agree with some points and disagree with others, if that seems genuine for you.  Use Benzon’s own blog as an example of the kind of blog that you should write (note his use of images, links, language, style, etc.).

Elements Distinguished Proficient Emerging Not Evident Value
Comprehension Meets all criteria of the prompt, exceeding expectations (5) Meets all criteria of the prompt (4) Meets most criteria of the prompt (3) Does not meet most criteria of the prompt (0-2) 5
Timeliness & Executive Function Blog is submitted on time and displays that student has met self-identified goals (5) Blog is submitted on time and displays that student has met some self-identified goals (4) Blog is not submitted on time but student made arrangements to submit late; may display some self-identified goals (3) Blog is late and student did not make adequate arrangements; does not display satisfactory movement toward self-identified goals (0-2) 5
Genre & Discourse Community Expresses the unique attributes of blog-writing well; but it also asks us to reconsider the genre and push the boundaries of how we define it (18-20) Expresses many attributes of the blog genre, such as language and style, but may miss some elements (16-17) Expresses a few attributes of the blog genre, but misses most elements (13-15) Does not express enough attributes of the blog genre (0-12) 20
Rhetorical Strategies Displays exceptional awareness of rhetorical strategies; these inform every move to display advanced critical thinking (18-20) Displays some awareness of rhetorical strategies; these play a role at some key moments, showing some critical thinking (16-17) Sometimes rhetorical moves are made but more attention needs to be paid to displaying rhetorical awareness (13-15) Few or no rhetorical strategies are apparent, suggesting that not enough critical thinking drives the line of inquiry (0-12) 20
Source Work: Close-Reading, Summary, Quoting, Multimedia, Synthesis Texts, links, images, and multimedia are integrated smoothly and accurately with attention to countering, forwarding, and sandwiching; usage enhances line of inquiry clearly (18-20) Most source work is integrated smoothly and/or accurately with some attention to countering, forwarding, and/or sandwiching (16-17) Some source work is integrated smoothly and/or accurately; however, sources could often be countered, forwarded, and/or sandwiched more clearly (13-15) Few or no texts are integrated well enough to provide a sense of usage to the line of inquiry (0-12) 20
Argumentation A series of arguments build upon each other to drive inquiry; includes judgment, counter-argument, and  a number of stakes (18-20) At least one clear argument is made that includes judgment, counterargument, and stakes (16-17) An argument could emerge but not enough judgment is apparent; the “thesis” is a smart observation with potential to grow (13-15) Observations are mostly without ethical value; no argument is clearly expressed (0-12) 20
Mechanics Uses appropriate and correct language, organization, clarity, grammar, punctuation, MLA formatting, etc. to express ideas creatively in the blog genre (10) Often uses appropriate and/or correct language, organization, clarity, grammar, punctuation, spacing, MLA formatting, etc. to express ideas in the blog genre (8-9) Mostly uses appropriate and/or correct mechanics (7) Does not use appropriate and/or correct mechanics and this affects the readability of the work (0-6) 10