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Writing compelling content for your blog

Writing great content for your blog involves much more than having topic ideas. The devil is literally in the details when it comes to properly communicating an idea. The following are some of the aspects to adhere to if you looking to create compelling content for your blog;

Have a clear message

Having a clear message means weaving your ideas with the appropriate arguments. For each paragraph, include a topic sentence and then use the rest of the sentences to present arguments that support it. A topic is basically made up of a singular idea that should be backed by persuasive arguments and relevant evidence. Have a catchy sentence, and then support your ideas with interesting, compelling evidence.

A clear message as part of compelling content
A clear message with a picture works great

Stay true to your audience

Stay true to the topic of your blog
Stay true to the purpose of your content

The internet is filled with millions of blogs discussing different subjects. The blogs that focus on a particular topic or idea are more likely to get a consistent following. Staying true to your message entails considering the audience and what drew them to your blog. If your blog is aimed at discussing different recipes, do not digress into topics that are unrelated. Having a point of focus will not only get you a dedicated audience but will also improve your expertise in the subject matter you choose. Expertise comes with a certain level of confidence which usually resonates with the reader in the long run. 

Readable content

Readable content is seen in the simplicity of language and conciseness of the message. Understanding comes with simplicity in the message being conveyed. The user needs to use the least effort to read your content. Readability of content has become more important given the different distractions available on the internet for readers. As such, the main priority is delivering the message fast and clearly. Clear delivery not only involves the use of words. Include relevant pictures and lists that give a quick glimpse into the information in the content. Breaking down information into specific subtopics will also improve the readability of the content. Ideally, aim at using the simplicity of elementary education. This will make the reading process completely effortless for the reader.

Use of jargon

The use of jargon presents a challenge especially when looking to communicate to a specific audience. Depending on the subject, there are terms that will be strange for the new reader that is visiting the blog for the first time. As aforementioned, the goal is to make the content so simple that the reading process is seamless. On using jargon, the rule of the thumb is to use jargon when you completely have no alternative, simpler term. And in the instances where the word is really undecipherable for the audience, inform. Informing involves including a short, concise explanation of the word applied. Another strategy would be to contextualize the term in a way that makes its meaning obvious to the reader. But when it comes to the grammar, the simpler words make for better content than being unnecessarily verbose.

How to write good prose: A guide to effective writing

Writing good prose, whether in an article or book requires effective writing techniques. Writing effectively starts with the elaborate understanding of the nature of your writing project. You could be writing a letter, a personal statement, a school assignment or an article. For each of these projects, the tone, style and flow will differ. The one thing that is standard in good prose is making the text clear and concise. Other parts of your writing that require emphasis are as follows;

Catchy beginning 

Even in good prose, a great first impression works wonders. A catchy beginning will immediately grab a reader’s attention and keep them reading. Once they are reading, your task as a writer is to keep up the momentum. Elementary writing instructions suggest that the subsequent sentences support the first one. There is no limit to what a catchy phrase could be. It can be a startling statistic, a universal truth, an interjection or just an insightful statement. As a writer, it is your to choose between these variations for the beginning most relevant to your writing.

Quote about having catchy beginnings
Catchy beginning is welcoming to the reader

Avoid jargon

Jargon and complex words make prose more difficult to read. Having got the attention of the reader, using indecipherable words can slow down the reader. Meeting words that they don’t understand can make the reader lose interest in the text altogether. Having to look up each word with every sentence can make the reading process tedious and grueling for the reader. By avoiding jargon, a writer can effectively keep the writer reading all through to the end. Because at the end of the day, the goal is to inform in the simplest way possible.

A statement about the use of jargon in writing good prose
Use simple words instead of jargon

Construct short, simple sentences 

Simplicity and conciseness are factors that cannot be understated in good writing. Words make up, sentences. But even while using words, a writer can make their writing confusing by using a complex structure. Short simple sentences also enhance the readability of prose through a seamless flow of ideas. Simple sentences use simple present or past tense, avoiding the use of passive statements. These sentences also connect ideas by ensuring that the topic position and stress positions are followed to the letter. Each sentence should blend into the next without effort. And each paragraph should connect to the next one in the same manner. This is how flow is achieved hence good prose.

Be accurate

Being accurate applies to blogs, articles or even forum contributions. These types of projects require accuracy in the information being conveyed. Achieving this will have the best impact on the reader

The internet is awash with a lot of information. Cutting through the murk and presenting clear, usable information will set a writer’s content apart hence improve readability. Readability is the hallmark of good prose. A combination of different factors help achieve good prose during the writing process. The first step would be to have an idea of information to be conveyed and then present it in a clear manner. Part of the process is writing a first draft and revising until all of these aspects are sufficiently addressed

Why low income families are disadvantaged by remote learning

  1. Lack of a reliable internet connection in low income settlements
  2. Large number of responsibilities 
  3. Lack of a suitable home environment 
  4. Emotional instability
  5. Ability of teachers to implement remote learning

With the increasing Covid-19 infection rates, steps are being taken to discourage gatherings in order to curb further spread of the disease. This, together with the fact that there’s no clear evidence about when this crisis will be mitigated, calls for the need to take alternative measures as far as learning is concerned. These measures should be applicable for students of both high and low income neighborhoods.

Remote learning is one of the recommendations that governments have made as a substitute to traditional teaching methods. This strategy has revealed further inequality in learning between children of low income and high income families. Low income families have been placed at a disadvantage following the shift from classroom learning to online lessons. These challenges are a result of various factors;

Lack of a reliable internet in low income settlements

Though layoffs are inevitable during a major recession among all people, Covid-19 has caused layoffs at a faster rate among people of low income than high income earners making it hard for them to pay for their daily necessities. Stretching their resources to afford internet access is a nightmare. They have more pertinent issues like the lack of adequate and regular nutrition making an internet connection the least of their worries. These students end up without resources to facilitate tech-oriented remote learning.

Large number of responsibilities

For those that can afford reliable internet, low income essential workers are hardly at home. Their children are saddled with the responsibility of taking care of house chores and the elderly in their families. This leaves them too exhausted to devote quality time to studies. Parents in such situations are also unable to help their children with learning.

Child labor: child from a low income family working
Children are more prone to responsibilities while at home

Emotional instability

Conversations everywhere are as of now revolving around Corona virus and the risk that parents and older siblings with jobs are taking when they report to work daily. The media surrounding the pandemic has not made anything better. Students are constantly worried about the disease leaving little will power to focus on their studies.

  • Lack of suitable home environment

For some students, support from fellow students as they interact physically helps them in dealing with learning challenges, and in some cases, depression. Remote learning poses a challenge for students to study at home when the environment in their home is undesirable. Concentrating can prove to be hard especially where peace is hardly a guarantee in their homes.

low-income settlement
The environment is inherently unsuitable for learning by children

Ability of teachers to implement remote learning

Not all teachers are accustomed to remote teaching especially in developing countries. This may lead to the teacher shifting classes from one platform to another in the hunt for a platform that works for every student. Although this effort is with the students’ well being in mind, it is time wasting and an impediment to effective learning.

The Challenges of Remote Learning for Students


Remote learning is currently considered an alternative to real classroom presence with the call for people around the world to practice social distancing. This change has not been easy for everyone affected. There are significant challenges that have come with the gradual adoption of remote learning

Predominantly social students have found it especially hard to cope with the isolation that this comes with. All of a sudden, there is no one to turn to when one needs to immediately clarify something. By the time you get access to someone you can discuss the issue with, the curiosity might have died down. And we can all agree that talking on the telephone is no direct substitute to face to face communication. 

Too Many Disruptions

There is a significant number of students that are mature and probably have a family and children. Inanimate course material like video and audio tapes have been helpful but not entirely. The more mature students grapple with taking care of their kids, attending to work obligations while also making time for learning. Doing all this in one location can cause scheduling challenges. Obligations like child rearing are hard to schedule throughout the day. Having the children in the house means that they are always interrupting either the students or the teachers during the remote learning sessions. 

Video Chats and Technology Use Become Monotonous

One of the remedies that has been suggested for the hectic schedule is forming study groups. The use of study groups is especially useful when seeking a support network and people to discuss class questions with. Zoom meetings are desirable until they are no longer useful. Soon a remote student has to juggle video calls with their professor, their employers, their peers in class and their social friends. In due time, this because monotonous and boring. As such, even the students with the best intentions will be unable to set aside the recommended 10-14 hours of study every week. In the long run, learning remotely becomes an activity that requires a great deal of will power and organization skills. It is better suited for self-starters with the ability to work around their lives to slot in enough time for their studies. 

Remote learning using Zoom: Two people chatting using video
Zoom meetings have become all the rage in remote learning

The pandemic has plunged all students into remote learning. The most affected are those that were previously predisposed to just classroom learning. This is the group that has been hit the hardest by the shift. They were not prepared for such a radical change within a short time. Distance learning comes with vast opportunities for people, but it is better implemented when people are advised about the courses and modules. This will help students prepare for the change and maximize on the courses they are more comfortable with. 

Steps to improve academic outcomes during the Covid-19 crisis

Administering examinations remotely come with great challenges for instructors looking uphold positive academic outcomes. In some instances, they are unable to give succinct instructions. In other times, students are unfairly able to access past examinations especially when the instructor repeats past examinations. There are a variety of steps that can be taken to improve the academic outcomes of students. Most of them involve tuning the syllabus with the expected outcomes. That way, students understand what is expected of them at the end of the course.

Emphasize the learning objectives and creating tests linked to them. 

The absence of physical classes can considerably reduce the student’s motivation and drive. When the teacher is not constantly reminding them of the objectives of the course, the students will more likely slack off. When the stakes are high, the students will be more likely to study with the goal of understanding the content. This is however not enough for the improvement of educational outcomes. 

Furnish the students with all the content they might need for a specific course. 

These would include books, journal articles, text books and videos that give a better explanation of the topic. The students will need these materials because of their inability to engage with the teacher directly and seek clarification on the content. As aforementioned, students are more likely to be serious when faced with an exam or assignment contributing to their final grade. For that reason, the instructor should consider giving open book examinations with directions of where to get the answers. 

student picking a book: Having enough resources improve academic outcomes
Students require sufficient resources like books to improve their academic outcomes

The nature of the answers required in exams should also be narrative. Students can recount the knowledge as opposed to memorizing the content when narrating in an examination. It is at this point that the instructor will be expected to assess the assignments. This is to ensure that students do not simply copy and paste the information in the assignment sheet. One can thus advise the students to use plagiarism checkers to go through their assignments before submitting them for grading. Replicating the information in their own wording will help the students to adopt a higher order of thinking. Finally, the students will also be able to engage with the reading material at a deeper level.


Final exams with various options

An alternative method would be making all the course assignments open book and setting the final examination with a variety of options. For instance, setting 8 questions while giving the students an option of four will inspire wider reading. While still aligned with the overarching objectives, the questions should be from the various materials available to the students. This strategy is counter-intuitive. It reduces the options of exam questions while prompting wider reading for students looking to increase their chances of passing the examination. A crucial aspect of the highlighted strategies is to use a reliable plagiarism checker to uphold academic integrity while assessing the level of understanding of the students.

How maintain academic integrity in remote learning

The Covid-19 crisis has tasked instructors with assessing their teaching approaches to improve academic integrity. This starts with the identification of what is fundamental for students to learn. One of the most pertinent issues that has emerged is the need to maintain academic integrity. Remote learning has paved the way for the exploration of unconventional methods of upholding integrity.I This includes the use of online tools to improve the quality of work. This article will discuss some of the issues with academic integrity. It will also discuss how students and instructors can address them while learning remotely.

Student behavior as regards to academic integrity is highly context dependent. Initially, the propensity to cheat increased when the students are taking low-stakes examinations. Currently, the shift to full remote learning has come with extended challenges for instructors and their students. As such, plagiarizing depends on the environment created by an instructor when teaching. Some students can learn better when they are physically in the presence of the teacher. This allows them to receive direct feedback for their assignments. Teachers are currently required to include further provisions for such students. Such provisions could motivate students that might encounter learning challenges when there is no direct feedback. Plagiarism checkers have grown in stature as one of the best ways to weed out dishonest behavior among students.

Students in a classroom
Maintaining academic integrity is easier within a physical classroom than in a remote setting

Using plagiarism checkers

The use of plagiarism checkers is encouraged among students to help develop skills crucial for academic achievement. Students face challenges when learning how to reference their work and acknowledge the sources consulted while undertaking a given assignment. Students might inadvertently include large blocks of quotes from secondary sources without properly acknowledging the sources. Plagiarism checkers will identify these blocks of text and trace the sources of the content. Getting feedback on their abilities is the first step of improvement. Checking a document for plagiarism gives a student direct feedback on their paraphrasing skills.

Academic integrity: Gavel and a book
Plagiarism is one of the most serious violations of academic integrity in institutions

Teachers desire to instill in students the ability to read, synthesize information and put it in their own words. The ability to effectively do this is linked to better understanding improving chances of performing well in the subject. Developing this skill can be difficult because remote learning makes it challenging for students to focus on the assignments. Lazier students will be less inclined to proofread their work and make corrections that further improve their work. Using a reliable plagiarism checker will give students immediate feedback on the quality of their work. They will be able to rewrite certain areas, improving the quality of their writing.

Upholding academic integrity occurs at two levels, the student level and the instructor level. Using a plagiarism checker helps students avoid penalties as a result of plagiarism. Plagiarism checkers also help instructors assess assignments. This will both maintain academic integrity and help weed out dishonest students.

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