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A free, comprehensive, peer-reviewed, award-winning Open Text for students and faculty in college-level courses that require writing and research.

How to use Writing Commons?

Welcome to Writing Commons, the open-education home for writers. Writing Commons helps students improve their writing, critical thinking, and information literacy. Founded in 2008 by Joseph M. Moxley, Writing Commons is a viable alternative to expensive writing textbooks. Faculty may assign Writing Commons for their compositionbusiness, STEM/Technical Writing, and creative writing courses. 

Writing Commons houses seven main sections: Information Literacy | Research Methods & Methodologies | Writing Processes | Collaboration | Genres | New Media | Style 

The two best ways to navigate through Writing Commons are using the top menu navigation, called Open Text, or the left-hand navigation menu system.  

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Top Trending Webtexts

Four Basic Principles in Writing Fiction

By Riley H. Welcker, University of Texas at El Paso

Introduction

Writing fiction isn’t easy. For some it is intuitive. For others it requires hard work, perseverance, and close attention to form and technique. If you are going to learn to write fiction, you will need to know a few basic principles. These principles include point of view, characterization, plot, and conflict. These principles can be exercised in many different ways. How you choose to exercise them is what will make your story distinctively different from anyone else’s.

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Writing a Cover Letter

By: Megan McIntyre, University of South Florida & Cassandra Branham, University of Central Florida 

When applying for jobs, a well-written cover letter is just as important as a well-written resume. While the resume is designed to provide an overview of your relevant skills and qualifications, the cover letter is your opportunity to discuss relevant experiences, connect those experience to qualities and qualifications from the job ad, and to display your personality to your reader. In other words, the cover letter is your chance to humanize yourself to your reader and to give the reader a sense of who you are and why you’re uniquely qualified for a particular position.

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Preparing Job Materials: Reading Job Ads

By: Megan McIntyre, University of South Florida and Cassandra Branham, University of Central Florida 

Getting a job is hard work. Higher than normal unemployment and significant increases in the number of college graduates mean that even well-qualified applicants may find it challenging to land the position they want. This chapter endeavors to help you set yourself apart – in a positive way – by improving the one part of the job search you can control: your application materials.

The sections that follow will help you create and improve your job materials by connecting information gleaned from job ads and corporate websites to experience you already have so that you can position yourself as uniquely qualified for the position you want.

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Audience Analysis: Primary, Secondary, and Hidden Audiences

"Audience Analysis: Primary, Secondary, and Hidden Audiences" was written by Deedra Wollert Hickman, University of South Florida

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop professional/technical documents with a clear awareness of ethics.
  • Recognize and discuss important elements of how culture affects communication in collaborative workplaces.
  • Illustrate and analyze audience while creating various professional/technical documents with a sophisticated awareness of audience as a reader and a writer.
  • Demonstrate audience and rhetorical awareness in visual design while creating professional/technical documents to visually appeal to appropriate audiences.

A crucial part of achieving a purpose when writing technical documents is to consider the needs and level of knowledge or expertise of your audience. Inaccurately making assumptions regarding audience creates failure in Technical Writing, not only in design, but for ethically and culturally aware content. For simple, routine messages, it is not necessary to analyze your audience in depth. However, for complex or highly technical messages, taking the time to analyze the needs and knowledge base of your audience will increase the likelihood of a successful transmission. 

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The Aaron Swartz Best Webtext Award 2014

The Aaron Swartz Best Webtext Award 2014

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Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...

The Aaron Swartz Story

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Plugs Play Pedagogy Blog

"

Kyle Stedman is assistant professor of English at Rockford University, where he teaches first-year composition, digital rhetoric, and creative writing. He studies rhetorics of sound, intellectual property, and fan studies. On QuizUp, his highest scores are in Lost (the TV show)..."

Using Creative Commons to Make Stuff
Plugs, Play, Pedagogy Podcast
  Produced and recorded by Kyle Stedman (plugsplaypedagogy@writingcommons.org; @kstedman), assistant professor of English at Rockford University, in cooperation with KairosCast and Writing Commons. Transcript is available here. My original plan was to find cool stuff for you to listen to that other people had posted--a curated collection of content from all my favorite sites. But as I dug into the advance searches of these sites and explored the various flavors of Creative Commons licenses, I knew that that&n...
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