Month: March 2014

What not to write

Have just been reading a journal article entitled:

Blogging as Pedagogic Practice: Artefact and Ecology1
by Marcus O’Donnell of the University of Wollongong, Australia

To be fair to Marcus O’Donnell, he didn’t actually write this – he just cited it. However, if I EVER write anything even resembling this, then please feel free to click on the top right hand corner and never speak to me again…..

“Where oral rhetoric is embodied and literacy is disembodied, a
cyberdiscursive rhetoric is virtual, characterized by remotely centred
interactivity and instantaneousness…the concrete rhetoric of orality and
abstract rhetoric of literacy become dynamic in cyberdiscursivity via the
continuous, productive nature created by virtuality and user agency…oral
rhetoric’s aggregative structure and literacy’s hierarchical structure give way
to an emergent structure in CMC, pieced together by a user who does not
recognize a structure until it develops before her through a random choice
of fragments which seldom, if ever, remain cohesive, and which usually
become impossible to trace…the communal nature of oral rhetoric and the
individual nature of literacy move toward an idiosyncratic rhetoric in which
reader/user agency transforms the textual experience into an epistemologically
challenging game which shatters rules as basic to print texts as one word
following another. (Jacobsen 2002:xx)”

I have no words to describe this – No amount of words could ever describe this. Perhaps this type of writing can be better described by another blog…

“Hmmm. There are a lot of big words in there and I don’t immediately know what some of them mean.  My choices are:  mine down into them, mindlessly dismiss them or run away from them, listening to those untrue limiting assumptions that still hang about in my bones somewhere, frightened of engaging but not understanding.   Luckily, I’ve learned that if I put my mind to unpicking the language of something that looks like a key paragraph, I can usually get to what I’m meant to understand” (teachnorthern, 2012, Online)

I guess that things brings a debate regarding the sort of language that we should be using in blogs. While the quote from Jacobsen was not in a blog, but in a journal, it still shows the vast difference in the wording (should I have said lexis?) of the two different media. My main issue with the use of ‘academic language’ is that it is not a language which I readily understand. I had to read the passage several times, and I am still unsure of the meaning – just like teachnorthern, above.

This puts me in a bit of a crossroads. I’m well aware that this is a masters degree, and that I am trying to write at level seven and get the best grade possible, but at the same time trying to make the blog entertaining. The most entertaining blogs do not use the language that Jacobsen used. Whilst trying to look at other examples of blogs to get an insight into the styles of language used in blogging, I found myself reading an entire years worth of blogging which was written by a 9 year old girl. Neverseconds (2012, Online.) is proof that it is possible to be entertaining, thought (and action) provoking and emotional, without ever trying to be too clever.

I’m now going to see what my tutors say about this post before I decide on the style of my future posts. Never let your integrity get in the way of a good grade.


MAD (2014). Martha Payne: “Changing the World, One School Dinner at a Time”. Available: [Accessed 23/03/2014]

O’Donnell, M., (2006) Blogging as pedagogic practice: artefact and ecology, Asia Pacific Media Educator, Vol. 17, pp.5-19 [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 September 2012]

Payne, M. (2012), Neverseconds. [Online.] Available: Accessed: 23/03/2014

Teachnorthern (2012), Criticality: Learning to disagree [Online.] Available: [accessed 21/03/2014]