How to Get an A on Your Blog

funny-teachers-cool-26.jpgHey everyone. My name is Ethan and I am the other TA for SC 200 this fall. Like many of you, I took this class trying to do nothing more than get my GenEd credits for science out of the way since as a Finance major, I was planning to take this class so that I would never have to do anything science related ever again in my entire life. I hated chemistry, biology, and physics in high school, and whenever I learned I would have to take some sort of science class in order to graduate from Penn State, I just wanted to get it out of the way and move on with my life.

To say the least, this class entirely changed my opinion. To start, the lectures Andrew gives are significantly more interesting than the ones I have had in any other class. You will learn about all sorts of interesting subjects that some of you may have spent time thinking about in your own free time as it is. In addition, the thinking skills taught through these lectures are applicable in both other classes and day to day life. Trust me, after this class, you will never read any news article the same way again.

But enough about why you were a smart person in choosing this class over any other science GenEds. You're most likely reading this because you want to know how to get an A on the blog. So, I will be reiterating and expanding on the tips I gave in class so that you guys have a general idea of how to write blog posts for the class in such a manor that you will get a good grade.

1. Pick Something YOU Find Interesting: This might be one of the only opportunities you will have in your entire Penn State academic career to get rewarded for simply learning about something that you have wanted to know more about in the first place. If you're a sports nut, blog about the physics related to your favorite sport. If you've always found sharks interesting, take this opportunity to learn more about them and gain a new perspective. The best blogs will often be written by people who are very passionate or interested in a specific subject and decide to go the full distance and form a unique opinion on the topic and write about it. With that said....

2. Good Evidence is the Key to a Good Post: While I have spent most of this post explaining how this class is different from every other science class, it is still..... well....... a science class. If you just put information in you're posts and don't have the evidence to back it up, you're gonna have a bad time (AKA get a really bad grade on your blog posts). Make sure you do proper research, and form opinions based off of the evidence you read. Try to remain as unbiased as possible while doing you're research, it will really make a difference in the quality of you're argument if you do so. However.........

3. Challenge the Status Quo: If you want to stand out from the other 200 students in the class, you have to do something worthy of it. For example, we all just accept the fact that eating McDonalds will make you fat, and that it is so unhealthy that if you eat it twice a week for a year, you might as well have smoked a pack of cigarettes a day instead. If you can flip that idea on its head with proper scientific evidence to back it up, it will show in your final grade, and maybe even earn you extra credit. Now, I'm not saying do exactly what I just said because the science behind unhealthy food is pretty sound, but I hope you catch my drift. I did a blog on how the current way we approach drivers ed is resulting in car accident rates climbing to their older, higher levels, and it turned out better than I had ever imagined AND I got my best blog grade that period as a result.

So that's my two cents on how you should start going about blogging. Feel free to contact me via email anytime you have a question about anything related to the coursework. I'll be present at most of the classes as well, so you can always just find me before or after those as well. I'll be posting advice on what I believe people can improve on once the blog periods get going, and if I find something particularly well written and worthy of an A I will include a link to it one of my posts along with an explanation of why that is the case.

Happy blogging everyone!

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