Troublemaking in 200 words or less…

So, I use blogs a lot in the courses that I teach and I am always experimenting with how to use them better. I think getting students to participate through the blog is an excellent way to help them organize their thoughts and articulate them in succinct (and hopefully coherent) ways to their fellow students. This past semester I required that my students submit weekly 200 word entries. They grumbled a little about the word length as being too short. I told them that they should be able to express their main idea in a sentence or two. If you can’t express it simply and succinctly, I would always say, then you don’t really understand it.

But, how hard is it really to write short, succinct entries that get at the main point of an article or that do an effective job of conveying your thoughts? Am I able to do that?  I have decided to try an experiment with 200 word entries to see how effective I am at completing my own assignments. I hope to create a bunch of these and mix them in throughout the summer. This was my first attempt and it was hard. It is 200 words exactly.

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