Canada’s myriad of cultural, social, and economic differences within its physical borders poses questions of ambiguity about Canadian identity. Canada is a nation with national values that result in economic and social success. Canadian identity shares the values of “openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, [and] to search for equality and justice”(Todd, 2016). Various ethnic groups, refugees, and immigrants are able to coexist in Canada precisely because of our healthy nationalism and shared values of Canadian identity. Nationalism is defined as support for a nation’s own interests. Nationalism “encourages diverse people to cooperate”(Todd, 2016). A stable sense of national identity encourages citizens to accept policies and interests for the greater good, allowing smaller groups within a country to collaborate and accept their differences for a bigger purpose or identity. Even if Canada was a “post-national” state, it would still “[fall] back on the established mechanisms of state governance and control”(Foran, 2017). In order for governance and control to be effective without creating political unrest, “a sense of mutual trust and appreciation for good government” is crucial to establishing an egalitarian nation with stable discourse (Todd, 2016). In countries that suffer from racial tension or civil conflicts, there is a profound lack of national identity and stability. Canada is the epitome of a country that uses its widespread values in order to create a system that maximizes our ability to accept various groups and do what is best for our country as a whole.
The turbulence of infatuation characterizes the relationships of many young people in their first encounter with love. In William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, two star-crossed lovers from rival families fall madly in love and decided to get married, which results in a tragedy. Romeo and Juliet’s impulsive actions and blind decisions represent “puppy love” or “infatuation”. When Romeo first sees Juliet, he proclaims that “[he] ne’er saw true beauty till [that] night”(1.5.53). Despite only seeing her for a few moments, he completely discards all his past experiences with “love” and declares true love. Romeo’s declaration is based on a fleeting judgement of physical attraction; he has neither prior knowledge of Juliet’s personality nor deep affection. While love is sustained, infatuation is a short-lived moment of intense attraction. Romeo’s impulsive passion further represents his turbulent and idealistic character, which is the catalyst of many events throughout the novel. Romeo and Juliet’s love is “too rash, too unadvised, too sudden, [and] too like the lightning”(2.2.118-119). Juliet, the more reasonable lover of the two, compares their relationship to lightning. Lightning is fast, short-lived, and even destructive. It flashes, and may appear strong and passionate, but disappears in an instant. This quote illustrates how their relationship is doomed after their initial meeting, which Shakespeare continually emphasizes throughout the play.
Modern readers often perceive the relationship between Romeo and Juliet as childish, outlandish, or simply bizarre, considering their young age. Jindra Kulich argues that throughout history, people at fourteen years of age were considered to be adults and bore enough responsibilities to be mature in the face of real-life adversity. Kulich believes that Romeo and Juliet should not be denoted as children. While Kulich presents an interesting point, the reason why childhood has been extended to the late teen years is psychological and scientifically proven reasons. The debate boils down to a comparison between environmental events that spur maturity and our modern day’s psychological or physiological outlook on various categorizations. The University of Rochester argues that the teen brain doesn’t fully develop until 25, meaning that teenagers and people of a young age are not adequately equipped with the capability to make decisions at their full potential. However, Jindra Kulich’s claims about the historical age of majority are also mainly true. According to the Law Reform Commission, definitions of adulthood were largely reliant on real-life responsibilities and tasks. Children in past times were responsible for more labour and families also depended heavily on their children. Additionally, the age of majority was often decided through an evaluation of sexual maturity, which was around ages 12-14 in Elizabethan times. Jindra Kulich’s arguments do have basic historical evidence, but Kulich provides no link or explanation as to why an environmental and employability evaluation is better than a psychological definition. Therefore, while Jindra Kulich’s argument uses historical evidence and norms, there is no reason to believe her definition of childhood holds any weight over ours today. In order for her argument to be fully effective, Kulich needs to establish why the historical perspective is better than our scientific method.
Haines, Michael R. “Long Term Marriage Partners in the United States from the Colonial to the Present.” National Bureau of Economic Research, Mar. 1996.
“How Do They Decide the Age When You Become an Adult?” Today I Found Out, 10 Aug. 2016, www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2016/08/age-become-adult/.
Munroe, Susan. “What Does Age of Majority Mean in Canada?” Thoughtco., Dotdash, 3 Sept. 2018, www.thoughtco.com/age-of-majority-in-canada-510008.
Robertson, Stephen, and University of Sydney. “Children and Youth in History.” Women in World History: PRIMARY SOURCES, chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/case-studies/230.
Shelat, Amit. “Understanding the Teen Brain .” Ice Packs vs. Warm Compresses For Pain – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center, University of Rochester, www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=3051.
“THE LAW RELATING TO THE AGE OF MAJORITY, THE AGE FOR MARRIAGE AND SOME CONNECTED SUBJECTS.” STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS 1957, 1997, www.lawreform.ie/_fileupload/consultation%20papers/wpAgeofMajority.htm.
What is your inquiry question? What initially drew you to this question? Did your question stay the same, or did it change over time? Why?
My inquiry question is “what makes an effective blog post?” Initially, I was drawn to this question because I already had my own personal blog, but wanted to polish it. I didn’t have any sense of how to blog or organize a website and make posts that were enjoyable to read. I loved looking at well-established blogs that were visually appealing and well written.
My question stayed the same, but I received lots of answers I didn’t expect. The visual organization of your site has a large impact on your audience. Blog posts don’t have to abide by a particular set of rules. In fact, the more concise and casual your writing is, the easier it is for you to secure your audience throughout your entire post. It’s crucial to develop and strengthen your unique voice while showcasing your personality. Therefore, with thousands of blogs out there, yours has to be distinct.
Over time, I drifted further and further away from getting too engrossed in online research. Eventually, I spent most of my time crafting my own posts and customizing my blog.
What skills have you expanded on / learned during the inquiry process? How are these skills applicable to your success as a student?
I’ve strengthened my organization skills, both in writing and in practice. I can categorize my ideas by overarching topics and physically organize spaces to look presentable. Through learning how to write in an accessible, transparent manner, I can improve my writing and verbal communication skills. I’ve practiced how to tailor my work towards specific demographics, which can help me present towards different audiences. I have a basic understanding of effective marketing skills, time management (you have to post regularly!) and how visual aid can help garner more attention.
Most importantly, I’ve learned how to genuinely express my ideas in a comprehensible way. Sometimes I can get too ahead of myself and use convoluted language. After Zip, I’ll continue to work on being as clear and impactful as possible in all my school endeavours.
What did you learn about / what is your answer to this inquiry question? Remember to be specific and provide direct evidence from your research.
There is obviously not a single clear cut answer. However, most sites I encountered mentioned the same main tips:
- Concision. Don’t lose the attention of your audience. Make your writing accessible to them.
- Introductions are VERY important in blogging and journalism! You have a few seconds to capture and SECURE your reader’s attention. Don’t start off weak or boring. Think about how many times you’ve clicked off articles in your life.
- Organize your writing into short sections
- Make an effort to form a relationship with your reader
- Use colours, fonts, and appearance to fit the theme or mood of your site
- Don’t overload with statistics or long preambles
- Use attractive or eye-catching images/photography
- Write based on your demographic.
- If it’s a casual blog, use casual language
- Business/marketing blog: real-life tips, more formal language
- Recognize and adapt a certain niche! Make your blog tailored to one thing (e.g. travel, fashion, marketing, etc.)
- Use call to actions at the end
In what ways does your final learning artifact demonstrate your learning/answer to your inquiry question? How does it connect to your chosen curricular competencies? Consider listing your competencies and including images, links, or excerpts from your work to demonstrate this.
My final learning artifact will be my blog. It synthesizes my research, experiences, and skills into one cohesive piece. Through developing my virtual persona, I transform ideas and information into original texts. In turn, these original texts create connections between myself and my audience. I incorporate significant cultural information and relevance into my writing. Before writing every post, I use writing and design processes to create structured blog posts with adequate visual aid.
China has the largest population in the world, with over 1.3 billion people.
And you may know China for its urban cities. Beijing and Shanghai offer a view into the pace of Chinese life – fast, gruelling, and constantly developing.
Yet China presents a diverse range of land: some urban, some rural, some remote, and some widely known. Among China’s remote regions is the Inner Mongolia region, lush with grass plains, small huts, and cicadas that sing well into the night. Inner Mongolia offers a horizon of endless grass and authentic villages. In this post, I’ll be encapsulating the wonder of Inner Mongolia in my experiences and images for you to enjoy.
This street captures the architecture of London. The streets of London are vastly different from Vancouver’s dominantly modern architecture. London’s streets utilize old buildings and architecture for modern purposes – a perfect blend of progress and authenticity to its roots. The streets are narrow and lined with cobblestone. Something else to point out is that people drive on the left side of the road, and the driver’s side of the car is on the right. I absolutely love the old feel of London and looking at the architecture. It’s like a walk through history and every building has its own story.
What resources did you find useful during your inquiry and why were they useful? (Cite at least four resources you consulted, with links, and write a brief 50-100 response as to was important to your learning).
Leist, Rachel. “How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step Guide [+ Free Blog Post Templates].” HubSpot Blog, HubSpot, blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-start-a-blog.
This website outlines the basic features of a blog post while illustrating a simple, step by step process. It includes all the basic concepts and tips of blogging, including both thematic and written aspects. I learned how to create working titles and organize content. This site was the first I consulted during this project and introduced me to the most important and crucial aspects of a blog. I followed its procedure when I wrote all my blog posts.
Rades, Alicia. “6 Steps To Writing Captivating Blog Post Intros Every Time.” Blogging Wizard, 31 July 2018, bloggingwizard.com/write-captivating-blog-post-intros/.
This resource specifically focuses on the first and foremost component of the blog post: the introduction. It mentions the use of emotions, pronouns, interesting facts/thoughts, anecdotes, description and appeal to problems/problem-solving. I was able to research more in-depth on specific blog sections and use special tips for capturing an audience. Since my blog was a travel blog, I mainly employed the use of emotions, facts, and descriptions rather than problem-solving.
“5 Ways To End A Blog Post.” Content Experience Hub | Uberflip, hub.uberflip.com/blog/how-to-end-a-blog-post.
This site talks about different methods authors use to write effective conclusions. I used its tips when writing all the endings of my blog posts. I explicitly labelled my conclusions as “conclusion”, kept them concise, and engaged with my audience at the end.
“Simple Tips to Make Your Blog Photography More Pinterest-Worthy.” Feast Design Co., 1 Apr. 2018, feastdesignco.com/make-food-blog-pinterest-worthy/.
This resource focuses on the visual aspects of a blog, including photography and composition tips. I learned that photos can help break up long sections of text, making your articles more reader-friendly and pleasing to look at.
What new questions do you have about your inquiry? What motivates you or excites you about these questions?
I’m eager to learn how writing styles differ among different genres of blogs – whether it’s fashion, makeup, beauty, politics, science, or marketing. I’m motivated to experiment with making different types of blogs. My next step is to hopefully create a fashion blog. There’s a whole different menu of tips and tricks for various types of blogs, as they all cater to different audiences.
Take a moment to reflect on your inquiry plan. Do you need to make any revisions to your original plan? If so, why?
After several blocks of in-class time, I’ve realized that blogging is less research-intensive than I thought. The most effective way to begin writing is to experiment and just write. Getting too caught up in tips from other bloggers can hinder creativity. From January 8th, I’ve used literally all my in-class time to write my blog posts. I don’t need to dedicate as many blocks to research. The material of all the websites I’ve encountered is the same, and writing tips are only applicable when I try them. I’ve found writing incredibly more rewarding than researching minuscule details/mechanics. Especially in blogging, it’s important that you find your “voice” and write in a casual, accessible way.
I’m currently working on my Inner Mongolia post, so I’m well ahead of schedule. I’ve completed and edited my London post. For the next few days leading up to the presentation day, I’m going into full writer mode. I’ve completely strayed away from online research, and am now drafting and writing on my own. While I am trying to write more naturally, I am still using general blogging tips from my first day of ZIP. I’m trying to uphold my original blog “aesthetic”, catering towards a specific demographic. I am continually employing the use of interesting hooks, short sections, and empathy towards my audience.
The schedule changes work in my favour. I’m excited to continue writing – without spending too much time on online research. My ultimate end goal is to create an authentic, carefully crafted blog that synthesizes both my own style and the tips of others.
Record a journal entry of how you used one of our in-class focus blocks What did you accomplish during this time? What did you struggle with? What might be your next step in your nex focus block? Set a goal.
Firstly, I evaluated my original notes and customized my website to the desired theme.
Secondly, I looked into specifically adding an about page and a contact me page. I personalized my colours and images while choosing a minimalistic format. For the about me page, I found that most websites recommended keeping it short, outlining my personal story in the subject area, and (if possible) demonstrating my credibility and expertise.
I struggled with familiarizing myself with the capabilities of WordPress. Initially, adding an about page and contact page were difficult. Since I only have the free version, I don’t have access to a lot of features or other customization options.
My next step would be to finish editing my London post using the new tools and tips I have researched. I want to make it more concise and add several attention grabbers or images.
Today I finished editing my London blog post. I added several images of my own and split the entire blog into short, concise sections. A writing issue I struggle with is writing long sentences or paragraphs, which can obfuscate the clarity and meaning of my writing. I found it easy to write about each of the attractions, but writing an introduction and conclusion was difficult, considering they leave the greatest impression on my audience in a blog post.
My goal for the next work blog is to begin writing my Inner Mongolia and Korea posts using the same tips I’ve learned about. I also want to write about the cultural aspects of those places and delve deeper into the locals of those places.
Provide a copy/image of your research notes. What concepts in your learning do you now feel you have a solid grasp on? Which ones might be useful to other students in their learning?
A lot of websites I encountered were for marketing blogs or business blogs, and less for personal blogging. I used their general tips on writing structure, attention-grabbing, and colour. The main source I found useful was this website:
I now feel I have a solid grasp on the basic step by step process of writing a post, which may be useful in other expository writing we do in English. I learned about the types of posts and titles. I learned about making a captivating intro, and how bloggers also include a call to action at the end, a strategy commonly used in marketing. The main big idea I focused on was how to secure an audience’s attention and to stick to a single, interesting topic. I learned the basic structure of a post and effective organization.
There were several approaches to a hook/intro. Some used humour, while others used empathy. For travel blogs, I specifically found a visual description to be effective. For my London post, I drafted:
You stand in the middle of a street lined with twisting narrow roads, cobblestone sidewalks, and a flurry of people seemingly always in a hurry. It’s a stark contrast to the breezy, slow-paced life of a Canadian. You may start to feel overwhelmed, by the quizzical, yet endearing mix of old buildings reminiscent of castles standing next to modern buildings of glass and grey. Do not fear. In this post, I’ll go over some attractions and activities in central London, to ease you into the endless experiences the city has to offer.
What elements create an effective blog?
I began blogging during the summer as a personal journal, but scrapped all my posts, seemingly frustrated with my writing, the images I put, and the messy aesthetic of my site. For Zip, I’m eager to revive my posts and learn how to write blog posts that effectively capture the reader’s attention. I hope to learn not only how to write, but also how to visually arrange my blog in an aesthetically pleasing way. I chose this question because I’m passionate about sharing my experiences through writing, and I’m also passionate about travelling to other countries. For this blog, I’m going to compile these two passions into a travel blog, documenting my experiences from the summer.
Currently, my knowledge of blogging is very limited. However, I do know the components that make up an effective writing piece, so I can apply these basic skills to my blog writing. I want to expand on website aesthetics, the placing of images, and how to grab an audience’s attention and keep them reading for the entire piece. I’ll tweak the current post I have up to fit the new skills and tips I will be researching. Specific skills I want to expand on are title-making, writing effective hooks, and learning how to fit my writing towards an audience. I will evaluate the choice of colours and format on my blog, and how to align those to the theme of my writing.
I can approach a mentor I met at a writing camp, Dara Homer, for advice on how to write this blog. She was an English major at Columbia, a current English teacher, and blogs in her free time, so I can ask her questions and look at her own writing as an example. I’ve worked with her already for poetry writing and essay writing. Since blog writing skills also include some aspects of journalism, I can reach out to a mentor I met in London who is currently studying English at UCL and is a journalist. Additionally, aside from online research, I can look at other travel blogs that are well-read and established.
At the end of my inquiry, I’ll demonstrate my learning through my blog. I’ll show people my blog while highlighting skills I used through a print-out screenshot of my blog on a display with various writing tools circled. I’ll have people read all my posts and also comment on the visual format of my blog and the colouring/theme.
January 7-9: Research notes and tips. Research what makes a good blog post and appealing ways to arrange a blog.
January 10-11: Edit my first blog post (that I already have up)
January 14-18: Continue writing new blog posts, all following the notes while experimenting with different types of posts.
January 21-25: Edit existing posts, get presentation material ready. Circle and identify elements of the blog post for presentation board.
January 28th: Present!
In Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea, she employs the use of foreshadowing and imagery to expertly convey the novel’s plot while establishing a mythical, fantasy-esque tone. Le Guin sets the tone of the book by beginning the story with a preamble on the nascent Sparrowhawk, a powerful wizard, who “in his day became both dragonlord and Archmage”(1). By directly delving into the main character’s destiny, Le Guin prompts readers to inquire about the storyline of the character’s rise to fulfill that destiny. Le Guin uses her gift of purposeful ambiguity to push readers to read further. Le Guin wastes no time in providing supplementary details that nullify the fantastical plot or slow down the pace of the novel by elaborating on meticulous detail. In accordance with ambiguity, Le Guin also utilizes imagery. Le Guin provides visual and sensory details to immerse her audiences in the scene without fixating on logistical or irrelevant statements. She describes the sensory aspects of Duny’s fog to emphasize the effects of Duny’s magic, focusing on the Kargs’ confusion while they “[followed] dim wavering shapes that fled just out of reach before them” and waited for the fog to abate (13). Sensory details allow us to fully comprehend and acknowledge the sheer power and scale of Duny’s magic, further piquing our interest in his prophecy. Ursula Le Guin’s unique writing style in A Wizard of Earthsea pinpoints and manipulates the degree of detail in each scene to set a delicately crafted pace that brings momentum and mystery to the story.
Ironically, the wisest people in our world downplay their knowledge. Acknowledging the limitations of your own knowledge is simultaneously understanding the complex, endless scope of the world and society we live in. Wise people are wise because they show experience, insight, but most importantly, good judgement. Good judgement incorporates having a realistic view of your own potential and ability while recognizing your limits. The wise understand that it is simply impossible to be all-knowing or omniscient in the intricate world we live in. Ignorant people have distorted views of their own intelligence, ignoring the reality of the world’s many multi-dimensional systems and believing they know everything there is to know. These perceptions often mar their outlook of the world, simplifying it to fit their own beliefs and past knowledge. A wise person understands that the pursuit of knowledge is never-ending because our society is perpetually evolving. The true enjoyment they derive from intellectual stimulation is the constant stream of new concepts to grasp and ideas to ponder.
These are three wise nuggets I gained from speaking with Adrian Myers, a corporate lawyer.
To fully enjoy an occupation, you must accept that it will have both enjoyable and unenjoyable moments.
When you want to achieve an ambitious goal, you will need to sacrifice your personal time and recreation in order to pursue it to the best of your ability.
If you invest your energy into a task, anything can have a creative aspect.