This website will serve as the primary online hub for WRI101, Section F, “Writing about World Music,” at Davidson College, Fall 2016.
On this site, you will find several bits of useful information: the syllabus, the schedule (which will include reading assignments and project due dates), readings that are not drawn from the required books (password protected), and resources to help with your writing and your study of “world music.”
As a student in the course, your primary contributions to this site will be on the blog. You are required to contribute at least one thing to the blog every week of the semester. There are two sorts of contributions that you can make—posts and comments—and you should contribute these in approximately equal numbers during the semester. (It is up to you to keep up with your blog contributions, and to ensure that they are roughly equally balanced; you will not be reminded to do so!) A post is an original contribution in which you reflect on an issue related to our class topic. A post can be an analysis of a reading that we have done together, but I encourage you to think beyond the readings and to use your blog posts to make connections to music that you are interested in. You have a lot of leeway to choose topics for the blog, as long as they are somehow connected to “writing about world music.” Posts should be approximately 500 words in length.
Comments are exactly what they sound like: responses to posts written by your colleagues. Because the class will be centered around argument construction and engaging with others’ written and verbal ideas, it is important that you respond generously to your colleagues on the blog. Comments can be a bit shorter than posts, but they should be substantive! Do not simply say that you agree; explain why you agree, and what you have to add to the ideas presented by the original author (or any other commenters). Comments need not be in response to that week’s posts; you can comment on any post from the semester.
In writing posts, you should adhere to blog conventions of attributing credit. Most commonly, you can insert hyperlinks into your text. These links redirect readers to online sites where you gather information, and thus, they serve as a kind of citation. To insert a hyperlink, highlight the text you want to link, click the icon above the text box that looks like three connected chain links, and enter the complete URL. You can embed YouTube videos into your posts by pasting the URL directly into the text box. For example, I can embed a video of Imogen Heap performing with her glove controllers by finding the video’s YouTube page and pasting that link right into this text:
If you wish to include images in your posts, you can do so by using the “Add Media” button above the text box. That button will allow you to upload images and select images from the library on the site. But BE CAREFUL: do not use copyrighted images! I recommend using a Creative Commons search for images that you are allowed to use because they were published under a Creative Commons license. You can search for images available in this way here: search.creativecommons.org.
Before you publish your post, you can add tags in the box on the right. Tags are searchable terms that describe the content of posts, and that visitors to the site can use to search for groups of posts by topic. You can create your own tags, or use tags that are already in circulation.
That’s all for now. Have fun with the site, and let me know if you have any problems or questions!