This week, as I begin my thirteenth year of part-time tutoring at the Ivy Tech Community College English Learning Lab, I’m culling information from the Study Power Leader’s Guide the school offers as a resource to my students. The “Report Evaluation Worksheet”, I thought, was particularly apropos for blog content writers….
Has your topic been focused as a question, issue, or thesis?
At Ivy Tech, I often find that students have difficulty knowing the difference between the topic of a paper and its thesis. Suppose they were instructed to write about graduation cap tassels. That’s the topic. But what about tassels? Are they silly? Important? Should we hold on to that tradition? (The answer is the thesis, or the “slant” the paper will take.) The same set of decisions will determine the focus of a blog post.
Is your approach original and imaginative?
Your client’s business blog, I remind content writers, is part of their brand, and it needs to put the best aspects of their business or practice forward with fresh, relevant content that engages readers. Blogging requires applying a thinking process. When business owners or professional practitioners blog (or coordinate with a professional writer), they are verbalizing the positive aspects of their enterprises in a way that people can understand, putting recent accomplishments down in words, and reviewing the benefits of their products and services. The very process provides self-training in how to talk effectively about their business or practice.
Are your ideas supported with useful examples, quotations, etc.?
You can use quotations in blog posts to reinforce your point, show you’re in touch with trends in your field, and to add value for readers (by aggregating different sources of information in one business blog). Still, I remind both owners and their content writers that the idea is to make their own cash register ring, which means it’s their own voice that must come across strong throughout the post..
Are your punctuation, spelling, and capitalization accurate?
Whether you’re a college student or a blogger, anything that puzzles readers interferes with readers’ interest and engagement defeats the purpose of the writing. Proper spelling and punctuation helps readers know what you think, what you do, and what you’d like them to do about it (give you a good grade or click on your blog’s Call to Action).
Using the Study Power Leader’s Guide worksheet can help blog content writers become leaders in their field!