Posts will appear within 24-28 hours.
Only submit your post once.
Why is my comment not appearing?
- The administrators of the blog must manually approve each comment. Because this is a community and public space we want to read each contribution before it goes out so please allow 24-28 hours for your comment to appear. Do not post multiple times.
Do I write an essay and a blog post?
- Yes. These are two versions of the same project. The belief essay (or “belief statement”) is 500 words and an assignment that will be incorporated into your FYE courses. You can also submit this to the Provost’s Essay Contest.
- The blog post is a revised, shorter version of your essay– just 250 words– in which you share the most salient points of your belief essay. You’ll post this shortened version in one of the categories to the right.
When do I need to start writing?
- We encourage you to begin writing your belief essay and blog post early during the summer months so you have plenty of time to revise. We also want lively conversation on our blog, which means that the earlier you post, the more likely it is that your peers will respond. Both the essay and blog post are officially due 8/31. (If you’re submitting to the Provost’s Essay Contest, you’ll need your essay ready by 7/31.)
How strict is the word count?
- For the blog, 250 is the maximum. And for the essay (contest included), stay within 50 words (plus or minus) of 500.
What if I’m not taking a FYE course?
- This is your first invitation to join the University’s writing community, so it’s important that you complete the essay and blog post even if you’re not taking a first-year experience course (like English 101); plus, you may be asked to submit your essay in another class.
What if I don’t want my blog post visible to the community?
- Part of this first assignment is practicing writing for a community– this means writing with an awareness of your audience. Your blog posts allow your peers to learn from you, as you will from them, and to develop an understanding of University life. If you’re worried about your content, consider how you might revise your blog post so it’s appropriate for the wider UMD community.
Can I edit my post?
- You do not have editing rights; when you post, you publish, so you’ll want to proofread and revise your work several times before posting. In the event that you need your post changed/deleted, please send an email using the comment form on the Contact Us page.
Do I have to respond to other posts?
- Think of our blog as a digital conversation, just like those on Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook– without your response, it’s just a one-sided conversation. Your responses are what help to build the community and so we strongly urge you to add your voice.
Is this graded?
- The blog posts are not graded, but your peers will respond to them, so in a sense, they are being “peer reviewed.” The essay, however, may be something that one of your instructors chooses to incorporate into the course and ultimately grade.