Move 1: Look for previous work (Day 1)

Today we will be busy drafting an About Me page, setting up WordPress, talking about emotional+sharable content, and looking at some of Caulfield’s first move.

Writing an ‘About Me’ page

In a moment we’re going to get you set up with your blog, but before we get started, I want to spend some time talking about the About Me page. Most blogs or personal sites have one, but what function do they serve? According to job search experts, an About Me page should emphasize the present, look back to the past, as well as ahead to the future.

Activity: Open a new Google Doc in your WRT folder in Drive and write a 100-150 word draft of a blurb that conveys who you are/what you’re doing, how you got there, and where you’re looking to go next. If you’re stuck, consider using the questions/prompts and examples offered by job search expert Alison Doyle:

¶#1a//The present: What are you currently doing (in regard to your career) and how did you get there? How does your background make you unique?

¶#1b//The present: In terms of the work you do, what aspects are you most passionate about and why? Share what you love most about your work.

¶#2//The past: What do you consider some of your biggest professional and personal accomplishments? How did your attributes contribute to those accomplishments? Be as specific as you can.

¶#3//The future: What are you looking for right now? If you’re job seeking, considering a career change or looking to take on projects or gigs, mention it in your statement. Include your email address in the last sentence, so it’s easy to get in touch with you.

adapted from “How to Write a Perfect About Me Page With Examples” from The Balance Careers

Three options for getting started in WordPress

As some of you might remember from Intro to Writing Arts, WordPress is a popular blogging platform, also known as a content management system (CMS); depending on who you ask, it is the software that is responsible for supporting at least 30% of all websites. In this first unit you will compose four fact-checks using WordPress and one About Me page.  Fact-check #1 is due one week from now.

Because not everyone is coming to WordPress with same background, I offer three options below for setting it up for WRT:

OPTION 1: I already have a account and want to add content onto the site I built in Intro to Writing Arts. NOTE: this is a good option if you want to get better at organizing web content.

  1. Go to and log in with your credentials.
  2. Navigate to My Sites at the top left; once on the main panel, go to Site > Posts.
  3. For any post you published in Intro to Writing Arts, click the three horizontal dots on the right and click edit.
  4. From this new screen, pull down the Categories option on the right panel and click Add New Category. Name this “Intro,” and click the blue Update button at the top right.
  5. Go back to the Posts page and edit each individual Intro post by clicking the Intro category and updating.
  6. Once you’ve categorized all of your old posts, go back to the main panel go to Design > Customize > Menus.
  7. Choose Primary > Add Items.
  8. Under Categories click Intro, and then Publish. You should now see all of your categorized Intro posts show up as a link on your main menu. Clicking this link will pull up all of your posts from that class. Repeat this process for each class you want to organize, including WRT.

OPTION 2: I already have a account and have made sites, but want to create a new site from scratch. NOTE: this is a good option if you want to get better at designing web content.

  1. Go to and log in with your credentials.
  2. Navigate to the My Sites/Switch Site page at the top left; once there, click the Add New Site button at the bottom left.
  3. Don’t worry about any of the screens until you get to one that says “Give your blog an address” then ***STOP*** 
  4. Before you decide on an address, hear my rant about this.

OPTION 3: I ***do not*** have a account and need to do everything from scratch. Note: if you’re in Intro with me right now, you’ll be able to use this site for both classes. Remind me to show you how in Intro next week!

  1. Go to and create an account with your Rowan email address. Be sure to verify it, or none of your content will ever really get published.
  2. Click “blog” (or just continue) for all of the screens until you get to one that says “Give your blog an address” then ***STOP*** 
  3. Before you decide on an address, hear my rant about this.

Basic design in WordPress*

  1. First, now that everyone has a URL, copy and paste it next to your name in this spreadsheet. Note: your URL does NOT start with; it starts with your blog name (i.e. Adding your URL to the spreadsheet allows me, and others in the class, to find your blog easily.
  2. Next, decide on a theme and customizations, which control most of the options for the overall design of your site. I’ll walk you through some of your choices.
  3. Design some content — site pages v blog posts.
    • Creating a custom banner
    • Formatting text
    • Adding links
    • Adding images, gifs, and video

*I’ll begin to show you how to build your own site in class today. However, one of the consistently great resources you can use this semester is LinkedIn Learning (formerly, a high-quality, video-based tutorial site that Rowan pays a hefty fee to subscribe to. The fact that you can have a free account to LinkedIn Learning is a real perk of being a college student here. To use it, login with at LinkedIn Learning using your Rowan email. Once you’re in, you can search for different videos, courses, and other content. If you are new to WordPress, or want a refresher, I suggest using the “ Essential Training” course.

Check your emotions.

Before we get too far into this unit, it’s important that we discuss this piece of advice from Mike Caulfield in Chapter 3:

“When you feel strong emotion — happiness, anger, pride, vindication — and that emotion pushes you to share a “fact” with others, STOP. Above all, it’s these things that you must fact-check.”

What does Caulfield mean by this? How does it work in practice?

Looking for Previous Work: Fact-checking sites

Of Caulfield’s four fact-checking moves, his first is to see if anyone has already done the work for you, looking at particular sites. What sites does he mention? What sites were new? Do you have experience with them?

To begin this move efficiently he shares a handy way to site search on DuckDuckGo. This method essentially uses specific search language to crawl multiple fact-checking sites at once to see if there’s anything relevant on the issue (you can search specific sites with Google, but only one site at a time). For example, here’s a site search for information that crawls Politifact, Snopes, and for any fact-checks related to the Coronavirus:


Notice that some of the results lead to Snopes news stories, so you still have to be a discerning reader with the results. But this search syntax can be useful; you can simply swap search terms and phrases as well as different sites. Use the shortcut on the Unit 1 menu above to save time.

In our next class we’ll get some experience with this move and start drafting Fact-check #1.