THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND AS YOU WORK ON & FINALIZE YOUR WORDPRESS
- Your MMP ≠ a blog: Although there are many scholarly blogs out there, because the word ‘blog’ often connotes a certain casual approach to a topic, I would encourage you to remember that you are not writing a blog. Your multimodal project is an academic work.
- Audience: Think of your audience as being comprised of readers who may or may not be experts in or even very knowledgeable about your specific topic but who are (a) curious to know more about it, (b) not yet certain of what they think about it, and (c) prepared to agree or disagree with your argument and analysis.
- Voice: Your writing ‘voice’ refers to your diction, tone and style — i.e., how you address your audience. Unsurprisingly, then, it’s also one of the most important factors in effectively conveying your thoughts. You should never try to write in a voice that is unnaturally formal (or informal for that matter). Rather, strive for a voice that imparts your intellectual ownership of, investment in and confidence about your project. Be erudite and accessible, passionate and rigorous, sure-footed and nimble. And don’t forget . . . engaged writing begets engaged reading.
Nuts & Bolts
- TITLE/TAGLINE: Does your WordPress have a title that relates clearly and directly to the topic of your multimodal project? Have you changed the tagline from “Just another WordPress.com site.” to something that reflects the content of your site? [These can be adjusted from your Dashboard under Settings > General.]
- PAGE ORDER: Are all the pages and sub-pages in the order you want them?
- PAGE NAMES: Page names should be relatively short (a few words, not a sentence) and declarative, giving your readers a clear sense of what they can expect to find on that page.
- FRONT PAGE: Have you manually set the front page of your WordPress to a static page? When readers first arrive to your WordPress, the page they land on should include your pitch video, which will introduce them to the topic, focus and purpose of your multimodal project.
- How-to guide for setting front page
- PAGE PURPOSE Do all your pages have a purpose? You should never have a page that serves only as a placeholder for sub-pages. Make sure each page contributes something substantive to the overall project. Pages should usually consist of several well-developed, claim-driven paragraphs, though occasionally some pages (either introductions to specific sections or sub-pages with very specific purposes/examples) may only have one paragraph. If you’re having trouble figuring out what to say on a page, you need to rethink your organization.
- NAVIGATION: Have you added a NEXT PAGE link at the bottom of each page? [Click here for a quick walk-through of how to do this]
- LINKS & BLOG ROLL: Your multimodal project should take advantage of the affordances offered by a digital writing space like WordPress. One such affordance on many standard WordPress themes is the Blog Roll and Links lists that you can add to the sidebar of your pages. Setting these up is very easy, and a nice way to link to other bloggers, groups, organizations, sites, tools, services, etc. that are related to your MMP.
- For details on how to use the Links Widget to set up your Blog Roll & Links list, see this WordPress support page.
- To ensure your Blog Roll & Links list are visible to your reader, make sure each page is set to sidebar template
- you can adjust this in Quick Edit or in the general Edit Page window under Page Attributes (on right-hand sidebar menu)
- COMMENTS: Make sure that comments enabled (you can customize the comment settings in Dashboard > Settings > Discussion)