Over the weekend, think about the question: is there a difference between writing publicly and writing for the public (or for a particular public or for multiple publics)? Of course, my asking suggests that I think there might be. But, really, I ask this because I suspect there’s enough diversity and ambiguity inherent in our intuitive definitions of “public writing” to start a useful conversation.
This week’s blog post(s) should:
 Offer some observations that help bring together the disparate examples of “writing for the public” that your classmates shared. Try to be specific rather than general in your observations. I encourage you to explore—in some detail—one example (or two) that excited or surprised you; and/or to explore a specific example in relation to your own outside knowledge.
You might use one of the following questions as a starting place: Did any of the examples change or challenge ideas you had about the scope of this course? About what “counts” as writing for the public? Were there formal features that many of the examples had in common? Which examples were most memorable in terms of form? In terms of content? Were there any examples that you found upsetting in a way that made you want to take action? Many people mentioned “getting the word out” as a goal of public writing—what does that mean to you? Is raising awareness always a good thing? Is it ever/always enough? Did the context in which you encountered these articles (in our class, given your peers’ introductions) cause you to react differently than you might have if you had encountered the samples elsewhere?
 Begin or conclude with: a concise, specific phrase that describes one thing “writing for the public” does (or could do, or should do). Include an interesting verb. Consider this part of a communally constructed working definition.
 Be composed in response to some preliminary thinking about what makes a “good” blog post. Think about what visual cues make online text more readable—consider using catchy/descriptive headers or subheaders and breaking big blocks of text into several small paragraphs.
Think about what makes readers likely to engage—to read all the way through and then (perhaps) comment. Talk about your peers’ interests in a smart/respectful way. Ask questions that might generate responses. Consider including links or images (either your own images or images that have appropriate Creative Commons licenses, something you may be familiar with/something we’ll talk about later in the semester).
 Be posted by 9PM on Sunday (January 12). Take into account the information about blogging that’s included on your syllabus. Proofread and spellcheck (while informal, inquisitive writing is encouraged, carelessness is not). Two comments responding to peers’ posts are due before class begins on Tuesday.
* If you haven’t already done so, please take the time to post a link to/description of your example on the previous post.