Strategy #5: Critical reading strategies for blogs

From celebrity blogs for entertainment, to political blogs attached to online newspapers, this form of electronic text has quickly become an easy and popular way to share information. Reading a blog can be confusing for someone who does not have experience with this form of communication. There are some basic design components, however, that when identified and understood, would allow our students to read them more effectively (Who knows? Maybe they will create their own for one of your classes).

There are two categories of blogs. The traditional blog is called a "web-log" where web-surfers will share what they have found online and comment on it. The second type of blog is a "web-diary" where people share their thoughts for that day. There is sometimes overlap in these two styles, but, like most web writers, many blogs have a specific purpose.

Blogs can be an interesting research tool, but it is necessary, like with any research material, to determine the validity and reliability of the blog. Obviously there will be a big difference between Perez Hilton's celebrity blog, and one utilized for the Huffington Post! When initially introducing blogs to a class, review student' understanding of a writer's credibility and the content's validity and reliability.