Bio-Blogging Guidelines

Posted by Mr. Mohn

A weblog (or blog) is a way for you to keep an informal online journal recording your thoughts about what you are learning in AP Biology. It is a space to write down your thoughts, insights, and opinions about what we are learning in class. You can discuss what interests you most about the information we have covered, connect the information to something in contemporary culture, analyze and reflect on a current event or controversial issue, ask questions, and so on.

What if you don’t know how to make a web page?

You do not need to have any knowledge about creating web pages to complete this assignment; the beauty of this assignment is that all the technical work will be done for you. You will simply email your writing to Mr. Mohn and he will post it on the course website. If you would like to include free-use images or school-appropriate videos with your writing, simply include the original URL for the file. The suggested online resource for free-use images is Wikimedia Commons. YouTube is a good source for videos that can be embedded within your post.

Tips for using your sources:

  1. Always include links to the source materials you used in writing your post. Don’t just list your sources as URLs. Instead, you should create appropriate hyperlinks within the text of your blog post that link to the sources when material from that source is specifically referenced.
  2. You are encouraged to use images and other multimedia (e.g., videos) to supplement the text within your post. You must be sure, however, that the material is cleared from copyright restrictions and allowed for educational use. If your requested images are not cleared for educational use, they will not be posted on the blog without the specific permission of the copyright owner for that image.

What should you write?

Here are some suggestions for weblog posts (though you are not required to use any of them):

  1. This Chapter Was… – Choose a chapter of the textbook that intrigued you, infuriated you, puzzled you, or otherwise provoked you to think about its meaning. Write a post in which you discuss the chapter, its meaning, and your reaction.
  2. Three Terms – Choose three terms that have been especially significant throughout this course, and explain why they are so significant.
  3. Blog Carnival – A blog “carnival” is a collection of annotated links on a particular topic. Try to find blogs that address a favorite biological topic and host your own “carnival” on your blog.
  4. Current Event – If something we’ve learned about is relevant to the cultural, social, or political scene today, write a post describing those connections.
  5. Everyday Biology – Now that you’ve learned about biological concepts and phenomena, you likely see a plethora of examples every day in the world around you. Choose one of these examples and describe it in detail.
  6. Cross-Curricular Connections – What connections can you make between the material covered in AP Biology and the other courses you’ve taken at BVNW? Write about the overlap you see between this course and others.
  7. Big Ideas of AP Biology – Your course directives list the four “Big Ideas” that are interwoven throughout the AP Biology course. These represent a rich source of topics to write about.

How much should you write?

Your blog entry can be as long as you want it to be. However, keep in mind that Internet articles that require readers to scroll down more than twice are rarely read in their entirety. The minimum length of your blog entry is 500 words.

When is it due?

You will be required to write one blog post per semester. New posts will be added to the blog on a weekly basis. You will have the opportunity to sign up for the week your blog post will be due. Submissions will be due by 2:50 pm on the Friday of the week you sign up.

How will your writing be scored?

Your writing will be assessed based on how well it follows the “3 Cs of Student Blogging” as discussed in class and as illustrated in the diagram below. Refer to the AP Biology Bio-Blogging Rubric for details.