Use WordPress

This semester, our class will use WordPress to both engage in ongoing classroom conversations, as well as help connect our discussions to a public forum.

Setting up an account:

  1. If you already have a WordPress account that you want to use for this class, great. Proceed to step 3. If you don’t want to use your personal account for this class (which is fine) or don’t already have a WordPress account, proceed to step 2.
  2. Visit WordPress’s sign up form. In the form that comes up, enter your email address, a username (feel free to choose something other than your name or an easily identifying name), and a password. Create your account.
  3. Now check your Temple email inbox for an email inviting you to join our course website (if you can’t find it, email me and I will resend it). Click the link in the email to join as an Author of our course blog. Now you’re officially on WordPress!
  4. You have the option to customize your WordPress account by uploading a photo of either you or something else and modifying the settings. None of this is required, but you are welcome to do whatever you want with these options.

How to post something to our blog:

  • Go to  WordPress.com. Log in with your WordPress username and password.
  • Click “My Blogs” in the top menu
  • Hover over your username  in the upper righthand corner of the screen.
  • A pop up menu should appear with a list of all the blogs you are a member of. Hover over this course blog in the list.

Screenshot 2014-01-03 16.49.42

  • Select “New Post” from the menu that appears.
  • From here you can enter your post in the text box. Check out this page for instructions on how to navigate the Posts screen.

How to comment on someone else’s post:

  • Find the post you want to comment on and scroll down to the bottom. Find the text box under the phrase “Leave a reply.” Click your mouse inside the text box. A drop-down menu will appear under the text box requiring you to log in (if you are not already logged into WordPress). Log in with your WordPress username and password.
  • Then enter your comment in the text box and click “Post Comment.”
  • You can edit comments you’ve made (and add links) by clicking on the “Edit” link at the top of your comment after it has posted.

Adding a hyperlink to your post:

  • Highlight the words you want to be linked to the external site.
  • Click on the chainlink icon in the menu bar above the post composing box.

Screenshot 2014-01-03 16.47.54

  • In the dialog box that appears, place the URL for the external site in the top text box.

Screenshot 2014-01-03 16.49.02

  • Click “open link in new tab” as this eases navigation between this site and others.

Embedding a video in your post:

  • Most often you will be embedding videos from YouTube or Viemo. In either case the instructions are the same.
  • In either YouTube or Viemo select “share” and then “embed.”

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 7.46.41 PM

  • Highlight and copy the code that appears.
  • Open another tab and navigate to the post you are writing.
  • In the upper righthand corner of the composing screen you will see two tabs: “visual” and “text.” Select “text.”

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 7.44.44 PM

  • Put the video code in the post where you would like it to appear.
  • Navigate back to the “visual” tab, and ensure that the video box is appearing where you would like it to.
  • Once you publish your post, go “view page” (under the title of your blog post).
  • Ensure that your video can play correctly.

Inserting an image into your post:

  • In the composing screen you should see a button that says “add media.” Select it.
  • In the screen that appears, select the “Upload Files” tab.
  • You should be able to either drag and drop or upload the image file from your computer by clicking the “Select files” button.
  • After it uploads, you’ll have options in the screen that allow you to adjust the size, alignment, and placement of your image.

Instructions for all assignments:

  • Title your submissions to WordPress. “Essay 1″ and “Final Project” are boring titles, and tell readers nothing about your work. Pick something descriptive of what your assignment actually addresses.
  • Categorize your posts. Available categories include “Digital Essays,” “Project Proposals,”  etc. These can be found to the right of the post composition field.

Screenshot 2014-01-03 16.51.23

  • Write your post in a word document first. This will allow you a great back up in case you lose your internet connection in the midst of submitting an entry. In addition, you can check that your assignment meets the minimum word count requirement (image/video captions and works cited lists do not count toward the minimum required word counts).
  • Your ability to communicate effectively in written form comprises a large portion of your success in the class. You are expected to put together engaged and well-written assignments. All written assignments should be professional and well-organized, make a clear and compelling argument, contain a thesis statement, fully cite all sources, and use textual evidence and exposition. Additionally, all assignments must cite their sources using APA citation format, and include BOTH in-text parenthetical citations and a complete works cited list.
  • Don’t include personal contact information in your posts, either your contact information or that of someone else.
  • Don’t post photos or videos of others without their permission. Photos and videos already posted online in a public forum may be re-posted on our blog only if those images are declared by their owner to be freely available for re-posting, and you include a link to and citation for those images/videos. For more information, see this handy guide to copyright and fair use.

Be prepared for disagreements from classmates and other people reading our public course blog and our course tweets. Lively, respectful debate is productive, and we all learn better from being pushed to articulate our own arguments clearly and genuinely listening to and learning from the arguments of others. We all are responsible for the things we say in class, write on this public website, and tweet on Twitter. Keep this in mind when writing things that have an impact on other people’s lives. Hateful language (including but not limited to racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and classism) will not be tolerated, their authors will be reprimanded, and tweets/posts that include this will be removed.

WordPress Resources

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