Digital Publishing Student Blogs

In Winter Quarter’s Digital Publishing (ENG 477) class, each student created a blog or website around a topic of his or her choosing. As you’ll see below, topics range from grilled cheese recipes to literary critique to honorable athletes. The main criterion was that the project be focused on something the student has a passion for, thus increasing the likelihood that the site would endure long after the course has ended.

The blogs/sites were also intended to provide a crash course in web publishing—in identifying a target readership, selecting a suitable publishing platform (from Wix to Blogspot to WordPress), creating varied content types (including audio or video components), marrying content with design, developing a social media strategy for networking and promotion, and finally developing ideas to potentially monetize the site, or at least leverage it as part of a career portfolio.

The students below are those who wished to share their projects with Ex Libris, and have written accompanying descriptions. – Paul Thomas, Instructor

Alexandra Bates: The Grilled Cheese Experience

The Grilled Cheese Experience is a blog aimed at experimenting with a variety of cheeses, spreads, sauces, toppings and breads to “discover” the perfect grilled cheese sandwich recipe. In this endless search, readers are encouraged to make, test and rate the sandwiches, as well as offer suggestions on how to improve recipes.

Cristina Dobson: Park Alexandria Website

This is the official site of the Park Alexandria Condominium Association, a 33-story residential building on the west side of Chicago’s Loop area. The site is geared toward building residents, as well as to our neighboring community.

Lynette Griffin: The Honorable Athlete

The Honorable Athlete is a blog highlighting the positive deeds of black athletes off the field. With all the negative stories about the activities of athletes, it is time to put a spotlight on the honorable.

Madeline Szrom: Things They Didn’t Tell Me About the City

Things They Didn’t Tell Me About The City is a blog about my experiences adapting to living in Chicago as well as a place for people to share their own stories.

Colin Harris: Hide Your Money in Your Books

Book reviews, essays, lit coverage, vitriol, ranting, and general pretension.

Umberto Umbertino: My Mamma’s Italian Kitchen

A site dedicated to honoring my mother’s memory by preserving and sharing the authentic Sicilian recipes that she had prepared throughout her lifetime. The site welcomes comments, suggestions and recipes from visitors, while sharing family culinary favorites, photos and music.

Jennifer Houghton: Being Kimber’s Aunt

How does becoming an aunt for the first time alter the opinions and landscape of a childless woman? I’m about to find out. Join me as I learn about “aunthood” and navigate through my existing opinions on children.

Kaitlin Sullivan: Makeup Always Fits

Makeup Always Fits, even if your jeans don’t. Narratives and reviews that remind us it’s okay to like girly things every once in a while.

Bethany Brownholtz: Words Made Simple

Ms. Bethany shares years of writing tutoring experience via Words Made Simple, a compilation of how-to articles on writing and research papers.

Molly Franken: A Windy City Wedding

From one Chicago bride to another, A Windy City Wedding is blog on planning and style as well as the general insanity of organizing your own wedding.

Ashleigh Johnson: The Filthy Truth

The Filthy Truth—a site dedicated to talking about what it’s really like to pursue a career in writing, how to turn your passion into profit, and resources to help you along the way.

Marnita Harris: Organic Face

This blog is dedicated to organic and all natural cosmetics. This blog will discuss the benefits of organic and natural cosmetics. Organic Face will highlight an “Organic Beauty Line” of the week so that readers are informed on several brands of organic/natural cosmetics.

Rebecca Perlow: Black Mood Craft

Black Mood Craft: Crafting for the easily bored and slightly maladjusted. An “alternative crafter” with clinical depression knits, sews, paints and makes jewelry for the enjoyment of herself and others.

Lindsay Branca: MotherFlick’N’Food

MotherFlick’N’Food is more than just a “dinner and a movie” blog. It’s a social commentary, sometimes witty and sarcastic, on flicks, food, pop culture, celebrities and life in and around Chicago. Opinions are strong, reviews are sassy, and reader-engagement is always encouraged.


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