Posted by: jdn9775 | September 4, 2008

First Impressions on Blogging

Blogging and traditional essay writing are relatively similar. The main difference is that blogging allows for more creativity than traditional writing. This blog entry will compare blogs and traditional essays as well as evaluate blogs effectiveness as a means of practicing essay writing. 

Similarities between blogging and traditional writing:

Blogging shares many of the same elements of traditional essay writing. Both blogging and traditional writing require the author be conscious of his or her writing audience. Additionally, the subjects (or topics) of both forms of writing need to be relevant and adhere to the rules of kairos. One of the most similar features of both forms of writing is that it is still writing. Both forms should to be clean, readable, free of grammatical errors and overall enjoyable to read.

Like traditional essays, good blogs should also cite sources. Not only does this add credibility to the author’s ethos, but it correctly credits the source for others to investigate later. Although there is a difference, whereas blogs have hyperlinks traditional essays have bibliographies or footnotes. 


Blogging seems to be more open and free form than traditional essay writing. Most of the essays that I have written have been formal, long, and generally follow a prompt that was provided by a professor. On the other hand, blogging opens the creative doors and allows writers to explore different themes using various forms of prose to reach different audiences.

Structural differences appear to quite significant. Blogging requires the use of flashy headlines and the use of an inverted pyramid (although this is very similar to traditional essay writing where the main ideas/thesis are presented fairly early).

Blogs also need to be scannable, which makes it easier for the audience to get through the information quickly. Using lists, tables, and graphs makes it easy for a global audience to navigate through the text. 

Is blogging advantageous over traditional essay writing?

Quite possibly yes. Although this is the first time that I have ever used this style of writing I believe there is a great deal of potential in this method of communication. 

For one, blogs can use hyperlinks to cite sources. Most readers of traditional essays don’t want to exert the energy to take a cited source and look it up in a library. Additionally, blogs have the ability to add video. This makes it possible for a plethora of different ways for authors to communicate. 

 So far I have two favorite aspects about blogging. First,  the community that bloggers can share appears to greatly exceed that of traditional formal essayists. Not to say that academia is not a a community. It is. But bloggers can connect with other people who share their same interests and constantly expand their network of friends and writing peers. Second, blogs don’t use paper, which is good for the environment and that’s good for me, you, and everyone else. 

Personal opinions on blogging as a means of practicing essay writing:

Why not. Blogging expands writers’ capabilities outside of traditional writing (it has for me at least). Furthermore, blogs generally adhere to the same formal rules as traditional essays. Both have to be timely, relevant, readable, free of grammatical errors, etc.

Although I am not sure that blogging will ever replace traditional writing, blogging sure does have a place within the classroom. Despite some professors experiences. 

Far too often academic writing can crush the creative side of many writers. It nearly did for me (writing a 100 page honors thesis could crush anyone’s creativity over a summer). Blogs offer a breath of fresh air in the classroom and I personally look forward to learning how to write them more effectively.



  1. I’m glad you’re open-minded about the assignment. But think about how you wrote this post as a response to my structured prompt. In many ways, you’re doing academic writing here. Use this post as a point of comparison for your other posts – even the one you’ve already written.

    And remember, even if I’ve given you a prompt, I’m not asking you to respond as if quizzed. Own the new knowledge you’re gaining in class and talk about it from your own voice.

    Then again, being this structured and systematic in answering the prompt bodes well for completing legal documents later on. 🙂

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