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Student Engagement Series: Part 1 – Blog Writing

Creating a blog is an easy and effective way to engage students, and it leverages various skills that students need today. For those that are less familiar with this concept, a blog is a series of writings that are typically housed on a website. You can write a blog about almost any topic.

Here is the reason that blogs are important. For business communication, blogs are the ultimate communication tool today. Think about it, you’re reading a blog right now. For some, a blog is effective for conveying important information. For others, it is a marketing tool. And other groups just like to use blogs to express themselves.

More importantly, writing a blog develops an individual’s writing skills. It is commonly noted today that younger people have less developed writing skills. Writing is very poor, and so we need more exercises to improve writing, so what blogging will do is force them to write.

In the classroom, you can use blogs in various ways. I have used blogs in both technology and management courses. In my technology class, I choose a weekly topic that is technology-related and have them write a few paragraphs about it. Typically, the initial source of the topic is from an article about a current technology issue.

In my management course, I have students choose a large company at the beginning of the semester. I then assign a writing prompt each week. The prompt could be something like “What are your company’s top three strategic objectives for the next five years?” Students then do some research and write about how their company applies to that prompt. I also require that they have one source reference and that it be cited in the piece. That way, students also gain experience citing information in a low-stakes assignment. By the end of the semester, they have researched a company in-depth and written extensively about that company. This also teaches elements of research to students.

There are many free blogging websites out there. Just do a search, choose a free platform, and challenge students with writing prompts. It really is that easy. This exercise teaches students to write, research, cite, and develops a very nice online presence that they can use as an example of their body of work when applying for a job.

About the Author

Frank M. Sorokach is a leadership and management expert with both practical and academic experience. His general focus is on organizational improvement through the development of systems and personnel. He has almost thirty years of applied management experience in varied disciplines and has been a faculty member at Penn State University since 2012, where he is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Economics and Business. He has taught in resident instruction at the Scranton Campus, asynchronously at the World Campus, and delivers training to corporate clients. He has held leadership roles at the Penn State Scranton Campus and the Penn State World Campus. Frank’s primary expertise includes economics, technology, project management, business strategy, risk management, marketing, future trends, and personal efficiency topics. His research is specifically focused on the application of new concepts and systems to improve efficiency. This includes the integration of not only technology, but also new management theory. Additionally, he has been a leading digital faculty consultant for McGraw-Hill Education since 2017.

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