The original purpose of this project was to gather in one place a comprehensive list of writing center blogs that could be shared with tutors and writing center professionals. We made this list publicly available on the blog of the San José State University Writing Center, The Write Attitude. As responses to our request for links to blogs rolled in, we repurposed our project to create a tool for writing centers that are considering creating their own blog.
This webtext1 sets out to identify what factors make writing center blogs effective. We briefly review the history of blog use in writing studies, including their use as a pedagogical tool for student reflection. This review revealed a gap in established practices related to how and why blogs can be used in writing centers and led to this comprehensive study.
To understand what makes blogs effective as models for other writing centers to emulate, we analyzed 43 writing center blogs to identify content, design, and logistical factors that contribute to their efficacy. In addition, we offer tools for writing centers that seek to create their own blog. With this resource, we seek to help writing center professionals avoid the pitfall of the short-lived blog simply because certain factors had not been considered in advance.
Through our analysis of over 40 blogs, we offer an overview of the current status of blog use in writing centers, which should be particularly useful for writing center practitioners who are interested in either creating a new blog or developing an existing one. Following the literature review, our methods, and results, we offer some best practices based on our analysis of the blogs and a how-to guide that incorporates survey responses from the writing center professionals who maintain the exemplary blogs we discuss.
1 The authors wish to thank Matt Bryant for his assistance with the design and coding for this webtext.