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Writing in a blog about Urban Design has been a new and enriching experience. Although I have previously used this type of websites for more informal purposes, publishing and commenting on academic context has been a new challenge that has allowed me to go further in the search for information, even to question myself about some precepts that I previously considered certain.

The Internet offers us infinite possibilities to find updated information from various sources. At the same time, it also allows us to publish and share our work and opinions, with the advantage of being able to receive feedback relatively quickly and easily. This, nevertheless, also involves having a great sense of responsibility, since the content that we send to the websites is visible to a very broad audience, with the possible social and even legal implications that it means.

Sustaining our publications through bibliographic references is a key element in making our comments credible and verifiable. In that sense, this was one of the aspects that I spent the most time preparing my posts, because, as I mentioned earlier, Internet works as a huge information highway, where not all the content found there comes from reliable and truthful sources.

One of the tools that I used to “filter” this information was Google Scholar, which makes a classification of the results to separate those that come from official publications, recognized authors or sources that are highly reliable. In the same way, specialized websites in urbanism and architecture are also sources of information that has been previously corroborated by professionals in those areas. Additionally, renowned newspapers such as The New York Times or The Guardian often have articles published by experts in the areas in question, and therefore they are also references that can be considered.

How to capture a greater audience in our publications is another aspect that I found interesting to start commenting on in a blog. At the beginning of the semester, during the conference named “Do’s and Don’ts of blogging”, some strategies were explained to make more attractive our posts. They also highlighted the importance of having a consistent language, but without it becoming monotonous. I believe that the comments in an academic blog, in addition to showing information about a certain subject, they should also reflect our true interests and motivations go more deeply on that topic.

Regarding the correction of the writing, I consider that the analysis options provided by the text editor on the blog are useful tools in order to improve our cohesion and coherence before publishing a post. This has personally helped me to get used to the academic writing style in English, which I hope to continue improving during the following semester.

Finally, the inputs and comments from my colleagues allowed me to learn more about the problems and solutions that are being proposed in other parts of the world, especially in relation to issues of sustainability and urban health. I think that this aspect, added to the previously mentioned, has contributed significantly to my studies. It remains to be improved, to publish more regularly throughout the semester, which I hope to do in the next period.

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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