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Creating an academic blog has been an exciting experience. Being able to freely write and express opinions to a wider audience, has been a new and challenging experience for me. This encouraging module has pushed me more into writing compact text that hold a lot of weight. Reading other blogs on the website has inspired me to look at new topics and read other professionals texts. Thus, expanding my own knowledge of the built environment and preparing me better for next semester.

Starting with my first blog I found that I was writing more than I should, explaining in too much detail over a point, like I was writing an essay. Once I read other posts from different organisations, for example the Urban Design Group, I managed to find my writing style, allowing me to able to connect with my audience better. I attempted multiple strategies inspired by one of my lectures earlier in the year, advising us on how to write a blog. By shortening sentences and reading the blog aloud, it allowed me to write quicker. To back up points, I cited a variety of professionals expanding my view to incorporate into my arguments through all my blogs and comments.

Team work

We, as a cohort on this degree were responsible for the blog. By providing Simon who ran the website with feedback, e.g. providing links to external websites like the main university page for Urban Design; helped to improve the visitor numbers to our blog, widening the public awareness for our degree. These recommendations came from the group, as we had weekly meetings discussing new features or issues we have been experiencing when blogging. I hosted as chair during mid-October, pointing out the website could use more functionality, e.g. sliding images. Sophie, our minute taker, met up with me regarding the next meetings tasks. This allowed us to be on top of any problems or agendas, whilst delegating blog topics to people that asked for them. This gave people time to prepare comments in advance, ensuring there would be no topic repetition and increasing new and hopefully creative writing.

The support we had was excellent. Any issues we faced, were quickly reported to Simon and dealt with. Many of us who have come from different academic and work backgrounds, came together to help others who struggled with choosing a topic, showing our teamwork ability and that we were organised and able to create target deadlines to stick to.

Blogging experience

Throughout the semester we spent a lot of time in the studio, working on our design projects, leading to many delayed blog posts. Working on the first blog was a lot of fun, ‘Urban Design in the UK planning system’ was one of my favourite lectures from Colin Haylock. It surprised me, how easy and stress-free blogging is, as I found myself writing naturally and expressing my views with ease. Later on, my remaining blogs and comments, became easier and thus more enjoyable compared to writing an essay. I have found that blogging has become one of the best writing experience I have had in a degree and something that I may pursue in the future.

Conclusion

Overall, I have really enjoyed the process in blog writing in this first semester. I feel more prepared, but still anxious to start with the next module. The skills I have learnt will help me with my next semester when we blog more frequently.

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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