Information Literacy

Your success as a student and a citizen is significantly shaped by your ability to recognize when additional information is needed before you can make an informed decision.  Likewise, to avoid being spammed and spoofed, you need to probe written and visual texts for their messages, tones, lenses, and emotional appeals. Doing so will not only encourage you to become a better critical thinker, but it will also enable you to become a more engaged citizen.  

What are New Literacies? What is Intellectual Property? Critical Reading Practices, and Visual Literacy—these webtexts explore how you can identify when information is needed, efficiently access information, and assess information, questioning ways rhetorical, economic, and social practices shape claims and affect credibility. 

Research Methods & Methodologies

While "research" is central to "the writing process" (typically referring to the process of searching the open web or library databases), “research” may also refer to different methods for data collection and data analysis.    

Consult the Research Primer to understand why different academic disciplines, professions and businesses use different research methods. Learn the conventions of textual research methods and empirical research methods, including informed consent, surveys, case studies, and ethnographies.   To expedite searching on the open web and library databases, check out Library & Internet Research.  Then, to better understand how college faculty want you to integrate evidence into you texts, avoid inadvertent plagiarism and “patch writing,” review Integrate Evidence as well as Summarize and Paraphrase Sources. 

Writing Processes

To help students at all levels of development—from high school to graduate school—Writing Commons provides an extremely thorough analysis of the attitudes and practices of successful academic, professional, and business writers. 

Thinking rhetorically about one's audience and purpose, collaborating, researching, organizing texts, clarifying and maintaining a focus, practicing diverse invention strategies, designing one's format rhetorically, revising, editing, and publishing—these activities define  "the writing process." As discussed in the Habits and Attitudes of Successful Academic Authors, you have a lot to gain by experimenting with, and being reflective about, diverse composing strategies. When composing, you can avoid wasted time by being strategic about when you need to play the believing game versus the doubting game

Collaboration

"Collaboration" has always been an integral part of literacy and writing.  Yet thanks to the internet and associated technologies, collaboration plays an increasingly greater role in business, professional, and academic settings. Social media tools like Facebook, Linked-In, and Academia.Edu put us in constant conversation with one another.  Peer production tools like wikis and Google Docs enable us to collaborate in real-time.  Video conferencing tools like Skype or Google Hangout enable us to workshop documents together even if continents and oceans separate us.

To improve your collaborative abilities, consult Managing Group Projects, Advice on Finding Collaborators, and Peer Review

Genre

Genres, Writing CommonsWriting Commons surveys common genres in multiple professional and academic communities: Academic Writing | Creative Writing | Business Writing and Communication | Technical Writing | Professional Writing | Public Speaking.

Broadly defined, “genre” refers to a classification scheme for texts, such as a job application letter, a lab report, and an end-of-the-semester research report. As a college student, you’ll write in a multitude of genres and media as you progress through your coursework. Early in your freshman year you may realize for the first time that the five-paragraph formula they taught you back in high school for writing in response to big-stakes testing doesn't adequately prepare you for the more rigorous expectations of university faculty. Over time, you will certainly face genres of writing with which you’re unfamiliar—such as the requirement to create a research poster or an interactive game to demonstrate learning outcomes.  Interestingly, one of the defining capabilities of a successful writer is the ability to mix and match from past genres, to address new challenges creatively.  When challenged by new genres, remember to think rhetorically and consider common organizational patterns

New Media

Circumvent information silos—the tendency of some people to limit their access to information to a handful of websites or media sources—by publishing your message in multiple media and genres.  Plus, remediating (or remixing) texts can turbocharge your creative potential. To learn more about remediation as an invention strategy, see "Text-to-Text Remediation" and "Text-to-Visual Remediation."Employ new writing tools, such as blogs, online forums, and wikis, to reach broad public audiences.  So much material is shared and reused on the Internet that it's tempting not to worry much about copyright infringement or about your public, digital footprint. Even so, to avoid unnecessary and potentially serious trouble, check out Digital Ethics (Netiquette), Negotiating Virtual Spaces: Public Writing, Copyright and Writing.

Style

Voice, sentence structure, point of view, description, grammar—knowledge of these stylistic issues can enable you to craft your messages so they are artful, creative, and persuasive.  Understand the effects of different syntactical patterns on readability and persuasiveness.

adler kassnerLinda Adler-Kassner
Professor of Writing and Director of the Writing Program
University of California, Santa Barbara

Linda Adler-Kassner is Professor of Writing and Director of the Writing Program at University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research centers broadly on how definitions of literacy are formed and what implications they carry. Most recently, this interest has led her to focus on writing in/and public policy on writing assessment. She is author, co-author, or co-editor of seven books, including The Activist WPA (winner of the Council of Writing Program Administrators Best Book Award) (Utah State University Press, 2008) and, with Peggy O'Neill, Reframing Writing Assessment (Utah State University Press, 2010). She is currently working on a project exploring how learning is conceptualized and operationalized within and across general education programs in the U.S.

She has a profile page at the Writing Program website for UCSB.

 

gee1James P. Gee
Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies
Arizona State University

James Paul Gee is a member of the National Academy of Education. His book Sociolinguistics and Literacies (1990, Third Edition 2007) was one of the founding documents in the formation of the "New Literacy Studies," an interdisciplinary field devoted to studying language, learning, and literacy in an integrated way in the full range of their cognitive, social, and cultural contexts. His book An Introduction to Discourse Analysis (1999, Second Edition 2005) brings together his work on a methodology for studying communication in its cultural settings, an approach that has been widely influential over the last two decades.
http://www.jamespaulgee.com/

 

 

graeme2Graeme Harper
Director of the University Honors College
Oakland University
Honorary Research Professor
University of Bedfordshire (UK)
Director of the National Institute for Excellence in the Creative Industries
Bangor University/University of Wales

Graeme Harper is Director of the National Institute for Excellence in the Creative Industries and Professor of Creative Writing at Bangor. As a creative writer and as a cultural critic (with specific interests in film/media and the creative industries), he is a regular international speaker. He is a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) National Steering Committee on Practice-led Research, an honorary visiting professor (Professor of Creative Writing) in the School of Media, Art and Design at the University of Bedfordshire, Chair of the HE Group of the National Association of Writers in Education and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

http://www.graemeharper.com/

 

 

lowe-picCharlie Lowe
Assistant Professor of Writing
Grand Valley State University

Charlie Lowe began Kairosnews in order to provide a dynamic online forum for ongoing discussions about rhetoric, technology, and pedagogy. It is the first community weblog in the field of rhetoric and composition, and members of the Kairosnews community produce some of the most innovative work in the fields of computers and composition and technical communication.
http://cyberdash.com/cv

 

 

mike palmquistMike Palmquist
Associate Vice Provost for Learning and Teaching
Professor of English
Colorado State University

Mike Palmquist is a specialist in rhetoric and composition, has taught undergraduate writing courses and graduate seminars in rhetorical theory, computers and writing, research methodology, and nonfiction writing. His research interests include writing across the curriculum, the effects of computer and network technologies on writing instruction, and the use of hypertext/hypermedia in instructional settings. His work has appeared in journals including Computers and Compositions, Written Communication, IEEE Transaction on Professional Communication, Engineering Education, Kairos, and Social Forces, as well as in edited collections.
http://lamar.colostate.edu/~mp/

 

 

alex.reidAlex Reid
Associate Professor
SUNY- Buffalo

Alex Reid studies digital media networks with a particular interest in their operation within humanities pedagogy and scholarship. His book, The Two Virtuals: Composition and New Media, examines the intersection of technologies of virtual reality with philosophies of the virtual and considers how bringing these two discourses together offers insight into teaching writing.
www.alex-reid.net

 

 

howard rheingoldHoward Rheingold
Visiting Lecturer
Stanford University

Howard Rheingold is an artist, designer, theorist, community builder, critic, writer, and teacher; and one of the "driving minds behind our net-enabled, open, collaborative life". His specialties pertain to the cultural, social and political implications of modern communication media such as the Internet, mobile telephony and virtual communities (a term he is credited with inventing). He was an early and active member of the Well, as well as the cofounder of HotWired and Electric Minds, two groundbreaking web communities. More recently, he's concerned with how collaboration is accomplished, and more specifically, how media—in particular, sites like Wikipedia—are an outgrowth of our natural human instinct to work together as a group.
Howard Rheingold on TED Talks.
http://www.rheingold.com/

 

 

rose shirleyShirley Rose
Professor of English
Arizona State University

Shirley K Rose is Professor of English and Director of ASU Writing Programs in the English Department on the Tempe campus, where she also teaches graduate courses in writing program administration. She directed the award-winning program in Introductory Composition at Purdue (ICaP). She also served as Assistant Head of the Purdue University Department of English. She is currently working on an analysis of results from a national survey of writing program administrators' preparation and expectations for pursuing the scholarship of administration with her co-investigator Jonikka Charlton of the University of Texas Pan American.
https://webapp4.asu.edu/directory/person/1411622

 

 

Kristin SainaniKristin Sainani
Associate Professor
Stanford School of Medicine

Kristin Sainani (née Cobb) is a clinical assistant professor at Stanford University and also a health and science writer. After receiving an MS in statistics and PhD in epidemiology from Stanford University, she studied science writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has taught statistics and writing at Stanford for a decade and has received several Excellence in Teaching Awards from the graduate program in epidemiology.

Dr. Sainani writes about science for a range of audiences. Her stories appear in: Stanford magazine, Stanford Medicine magazine, and Biomedical Computation Review. She authors the health column Body News for Allure magazine. She is also the statistical editor for the journalPhysical Medicine & Rehabilitation; and she authors a statistics column, Statistically Speaking, for this journal.

 

george siemensGeorge Siemens
Professor
Athabasca University

George Siemens is a strategist and researcher at the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University. Formerly, he was the Associate Director, R & D, Learning Technologies Centre at University of Manitoba. He is the founder Complexive Systems Inc., a research and learning lab focused on assisting organizations developing approaches to meet the needs of changing learners, employees, and global education and business environments. Siemens has keynoted and presented at national and international conferences. http://www.elearnspace.org/

 

 

Ilana SnyderIlana Snyder
Professor
Monash University

Ilana Snyder is a Professor in the Faculty of Education, Monash University, Australia. Her research focuses on the changes to literacy practices associated with the use of digital technologies and the implications for literacy education. Books that explore these issues include: Hypertext (1996) Page to Screen (1997) and Silicon Literacies (2002). The politics of the volatile media debates in Australia around literacy education was the focus of The Literacy Wars (2008). Her most recent books, both co-edited with John Niewenhuysen, are Closing the Gap in Education? (2010), which looks at the education of marginalised peoples and communities in southern world societies, and A Home Away From Home? (2011), which considers the complexities of international education in globalising times.
http://education.monash.edu/research/profiles/profile.html?sid=689&pid=141

 

 

TakuTaku Sugimoto
Professor of Education and Director of Education Center
Chiba Institute of Technology

Taku Sugimoto is Professor of Education at Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan. As Director of Education Center, he is in charge of the campus-wide General Education program. He is also involved in the Teacher Education Program at the university. His research interests include educational use of computers and networks, literacy education, children’s and young people’s uses of digital technologies, and social impacts of network and mobile technologies.

http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/taku-sugimoto/

 

 

ulmerGregory L. Ulmer
Professor
University of Florida

Gregory L. Ulmer is the author of Internet Invention: From Literacy to Electracy (Longman, 2003) Heuretics: The Logic of Invention (Johns Hopkins, 1994), Teletheory: Grammatology in the Age of Video (Routledge, 1989), and Applied Grammatology: Post(e)-Pedagogy from Jacques Derrida to Joseph Beuys (Johns Hopkins, 1985). Ulmer has authored numerous articles and chapters exploring the shift in the apparatus of language from literacy to electracy. He has given invited addresses at international media arts conferences in Helsinki, Sydney, and Hamburg, as well as at many sites in the United States.
http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/glue/

 

 

mc morganMC Morgan
Professor of English
Bemidji State University

MC Morgan is a professor of English, former Director of The Writing Resource Center and former Director of Composition. He teaches academic writing, electronic rhetoric, technical writing and writing for the web and new media. In 2006 was awarded the BSU TELL Grant for Creating an Internship Opportunity: Blogging Interns.
http://mcmorgan.org/

 

 

williamsBronwyn T. Williams
Professor of English
University of Louisville

Bronwyn T. Williams teaches on issues of literacy, popular culture, and identity. His research has been primarily focused on the intersections between the literacy practices people engage in their daily lives, including their uses of popular culture, and the literacy practices they encounter in schools and universities. His work builds on scholarship in New Literacy Studies that maintains we should regard literacy not as a set of autonomous skills but instead as way of making meaning in different, sometimes overlapping domains of life can be found in his book Shimmering Literacies: Popular Culture and Reading and Writing Online.
https://louisville.edu/faculty/btwill02

 

 

janiceJanice Walker
Professor
Georgia Southern University

Janice R. Walker is Professor of Writing and Linguistics and Chair of the IRB at Georgia Southern University. She has published journal articles and book chapters about online research, documentation, and writing, in addition to her two most recent books, The Columbia Guide to Online Style (Columbia UP, 2006) and Bookmarks: A Guide to Writing and Research (Longman, 2006). She is founder and coordinator of the Graduate Research Network at the annual Computers and Writing conference, and co-coordinator for the Georgia Conference on Information Literacy hosted by Georgia Southern University.
http://janicewalker.wordpress.com/about/

 

 

susan langSusan Lang
Associate Professor
Texas Tech University

Susan Lang's research interests include computer-based instruction in composition and literature, intellectual property issues, hypertext, and textual theory.
http://www.depts.ttu.edu/english/faculty_profiles/lang.php

 

 

Martin WellerMartin Weller
Professor of Educational Technology
Open University, United Kingdom

Martin Weller is a professor of Educational Technology at the Open University in the UK. He is into exploring the impact of new technologies for learners and academics. Recently this has coalesced under the broad, inadequate heading of 'digital scholarship.' He has chaired the first major elearning course at the Open University, with around 15,000 students annually. He was also the director of the VLE project and the SocialLearn project at the OU.
http://nogoodreason.typepad.co.uk/no_good_reason/

Writing Commons aspires to challenge the limitations of traditional print textbooks or ebooks. In the spirit of the commons movement, we invite our readers, particularly college faculty, to help us develop Writing Commons so that it meets the needs of students in diverse writing courses.

By working collaboratively, we hope to create a new kind of writing textbook, a textbook not written by a single author in the old-school way but by us, by a crowd of people who want a new kind of writing text, one that is more interactive, more Web 2.0ish--a text that is readily available via phone, PDA, or netbook, an expansive textbook that meets the needs of any college-level writer.

Writing Commons aspires to be a collaborative project. Since 2010, numerous people have helped us develop Writing Commons.

2014

alston-bio-pic

 Alston Chapman
Chief Technology Officer 
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Alston Chapman became the Chief Technology Officer for Writing Commons in September, 2013. After learning about writingcommons.org through a Google+ group, he recognized an opportunity to contribute to the broader academic community and to provide a free service to students and others wishing to improve their literary and communicative skills. He has been responsible for the redesign and migration of the site to its current location. Alston is originally from Georgia and attended the University of Georgia, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Real Estate from the Terry College of Business. In addition to the Writing Commons project, he runs Visualeight, his web development and design business in Los Angeles, CA

 

kgay.headshot

Kristen Gay 
Co-editor of My Campus

Kristen Gay received her Master of Arts degree from the University of South Florida in Rhetoric and Composition. She is now a PhD student at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. Her research interests include medical rhetorics, rhetorics of diagnosis, and feminist theory.

 

dianne donnellyDianne Donnelly
Senior Editor of Creative Writing  
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Dianne Donnelly is the Associate Director of the Composition Program at the University of South Florida. In addition to her interests in Rhetoric & Composition and Writing Program Administration, she is a creative writer and craft critic who addresses the Theory and Pedagogy of Creative Writing. She is the editor of the popular collection Does the Writing Workshop Still Work? (Multilingual Matters, 2010), author of The Emergence of Creative Writing Studies as an Academic Discipline (Multilingual Matters, 2011) and co-editor with Graeme Harper of Key Issues in Creative Writing (Multilingual Matters, 2012). 

kateKate Pantelides
Editor-in-Chief of My Campus 

Kate Pantelides teaches in the Written Communication program at Eastern Michigan University and is the incoming Associate Director of the First Year Writing Program. Her work addresses Writing Program Administration, Graduate Writing Practices, and Genre Studies. Most recently, her work has appeared in College Communication and CompositionComposition Studies, and Computers and Composition: An International Journal

SundusssSundus Alsharif
 Assistant Editor  

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Sundus Alsharif graduated from the University of South Florida in 2013, where she studied English with a focus in Professional Writing, Rhetoric, and Technology. Her hobbies include learning about new software, writing poetry and fiction.

 

 

 

2010-2013

katelin kaiser 2

 

Katelin Kaiser 
Web Editor and Manager 
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Katelin Kaiser graduated with her Master's in Bioethics and Medical Humanities from the University of South Florida College of Medicine. Her interests include Clinical Trials, Illness Narratives in Oncology Settings, and Knowledge Production. Katelin has been working on Writing Commons for the past five years.

   

  2012

karen langbehn2

 

 

Karen Langbehn
Social Pedagogy Editor 
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Karen Langbehn is a doctoral student in English, with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition. She's most interested in the rhetoric of science, science policy, and technology, as well as the public understanding of science and technology, and new media composing.

 

 

jeremy capelotti2

 

Jeremy Capelotti 
Technology Consultant 
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Jeremy Capelotti is a second year master’s student in English literature at USF. His research interests include modernism, postmodernism, and the application of established psychological theories to forms of social criticism.

 

JackHennes-WCProfile

 

Jack Hennes
Web Assistant
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Jack Hennes is a master’s student in rhetoric and writing at St. Cloud State University. His research interests include computers and composition, technology studies, and composition theory.

   
 


jennifer yirinec2
Jennifer Janechek

Associate Editor

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Jennifer Yirinec received her Master of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of South Florida and is currently in the PhD program for English Literature at the University of Iowa. Her research interests include Victorian Literature, Adaptations, and Composition Studies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WRITING COMMONS 

PUBLISHING AGREEMENT 

This agreement is made as of (date) between Writing Commons, http://writingcommons.org, (hereinafter called “the Publisher”) and (author/s) (hereinafter, and if more than one, all of the authors, collectively, called “the Author”), regarding a work that the Authors shall prepare (hereinafter called “the Work”).

Copyright and Rights

The Author and the Publisher agree:

  • Author will retain copyright according to the provisions of Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/)
  • Author grants the Publisher non-exclusive rights to prepare and publish the work in any and all forms, including the Internet, print editions, or future medium
    • For example, the Publisher may publish the Work at the Writing Commons website (http://writingcommons.org); the Publisher may publish print editions of selected works from the Writing Commons website; the Publisher may combine selected works from the Writing Commons website combined with other educational materials in print
  • Author permits future Authors to revise the Work. When this occurs, the original Author’s name will be listed first. Subsequent Authors’ names will be listed in the order of their contributions
    • To be listed as an Author, contributors must make substantial changes as determined by the peer review process

 

Warranties and Representations

The Author represents and warrants that:

  • Work is original with them and that they are the sole Author and owners of the Work and that they have full power to make this Agreement
  • Work is not in the public domain nor has any part of it been previously published (unless otherwise explicitly set out in this Agreement)
  • No agreement to publish any or all of the Work is now outstanding
  • Work does not violate or infringe upon any copyright or other proprietary right
  • Work contains no matter which is libelous or otherwise unlawful, or which invades the rights of privacy of any person or party
  • Author will indemnify and hold harmless the Publisher against all claims, suits, costs, damages, and expenses, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, that the Publisher may sustain or incur by reason of any breach or alleged breach of the foregoing warranties

Publisher reserves the right not to publish the Work should a claim be made arising out of or caused by any violation of the Author’s warranties and representations or any breach of his or her duties under this Agreement

What is Writing Commons?

Writing Commons is a free, global, peer-reviewed, open-education resource for college-level writers, college faculty, and the everyday writer.

How can you navigate Writing Commons?

Who is the audience for Writing Commons?

As a global, worldwide resource, students consult Writing Commons to learn about writing processes, rhetoric, genre, research methodologies, peer review, and style.  Writing Commons is comprehensive enough to be assigned as the required textbook for any composition, public speaking, business writing, technical writing, or professional writing course.  

People from throughout the world consult our commons every day, seeking clarification about a range of questions, from "How can I be more productive and creative?" to  "How should I follow APA guidelines for research papers?"

Who is the publisher of Writing Commons?

Joseph M. Moxley serves as the Publisher and Executive Editor.  Moxley, a professor of English and director of composition at the University of South Florida, has been publishing Writing Commons since 2008 (more).  

Who are the people behind Writing Commons?

See StaffEditorial BoardReview Board for addresses and contact information.

What writing faculty or University Writing Programs have adopted Writing Commons?

Google Analytics enables us to identify where people come from (by using their IP Addresses if available), what pages they view, and when they view each page.  In 2013, we received over a million visitors. While we know the overall number of readers, we don't really know whom these numbers represent--i.e., who our users are and if they are consulting Writing Commons because of required coursework.  That said, in the Spring/Summer of 2013 Duke University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Ohio State University used Writing Commons as a primary and/or supplementary textbook for their composition MOOCs funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation

Students in the  First-Year Composition Program at the University of South Florida refer to Writing Commons through the Common Comments interface at My Reviewers.

Why are we publishing Writing Commons under a Creative Commons License?

By sharing our work with the world, we hope to help writers find their voices as individuals and citizens--that is, to learn to express, develop and articulate their thoughts in multiple media.  By sharing Writing Commons in an online, cell-phone friendly way, we hope to make knowledge about Writing Studies freely available, worldwide.  

Are all webtexts at Writing Commons licensed under a Creative Commons License?

All webtexts are licensed under a Creative Commons license.  Most webtexts are licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 license, but a few are published under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.  The copyright for each webtext is either printed on the article or on the footer of the site.  Feel free to print, email, PDF and hyperlink to webtexts. 

How can I contribute to Writing Commons?

Please see Contribute.

Is it possible to get a print or ePub version of Writing Commons?

Not yet, although this sounds like a good idea.

Where is Writing Commons hosted?

Writing Commons has been hosted at Go Daddy since 2008.

How do I cite (MLA, APA. COS-humanities/sciences) Writing Commons?

MLA

Author’s name, last name first.  Title of article, enclosed in quotation marks.  Title of complete publication, in italics.  Date of publication (or n.d. if not dated).  Medium (e.g., Web).  Date of access (Month day year format).

    • Example: Yirinec, Jennifer A.  “Analyzing Evidence.”  Writing Commons: The Home for Writers, n.d.  Web.  9 April 2012.

APA

Author’s last name and initials.  Date of publication (if given).  Title of article, followed by “In” and the title of the complete publication (in italics).  “Retrieved from” followed by URL.

    • Example: Yirinec, J. A. (n.d.).  Analyzing evidence.  In Writing commons: The home for writers.  Retrieved from http://www.writingcommons.org/home/470-analyzing-evidence

COS - humanities

Author’s name, last name first.  Title of article, enclosed in quotation marks.  Title of complete publication in italics.  Date of publication (in day month year format) or “n.d.” if not dated.  URL (direct URL to article if available, followed by date of access, enclosed in parentheses, in day-month-year format.

    • Example: Yirinec, Jennifer A.  “Analyzing Evidence.”  Writing Commons: The Home for Writers.  N.d.  http://www.writingcommons.org/home/470-analyzing-evidence (9 April 2012).

COS - sciences

Author’s last name and initials.  Title of article, followed by “In” and the title of the complete publication (in italics).  URL, followed by date of access enclosed in parentheses.

    • Example: Yirinec, J. A. (n.d.).  Analyzing evidence.  In Writing commons: The home for writers. http://www.writingcommons.org/home/470-analyzing-evidence (9 April 2012).

As discussed at About, Writing Commons aspires to provide the resources college students need to improve their writing, research, and critical thinking. That said, as a global resource, we do not wish to impose a single vision for writing pedagogy. As rhetoricians and compositionists, we embrace linguistic and pedagogical diversity.  We aspire to celebrate and interrogate context-based writing processes, genres, and methodologies. If you, your program, or writing center is using Writing Commons, we would like to hear from you.  (Send your note/syllabus to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..) 

 

As of September, 2013, we are averaging approximately 5,700 users a day, and our general sense has been that our primary audience has been individuals rather than large scale program adoptions.  That said, we do know Writing Commons is the primary/required text or supplemental text for the following classes:

 

Furthermore, given the Common Core has been adopted by 47 states in the U.S., we thought it might be useful to illustrate ways the Writing Commons addresses common cores issues:

 

large joe.moxleyJoe Moxley 
Publisher
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Joe Moxley is Publisher and Executive Editor for Writing Commons. A professor of English and director of the First-Year Composition Program at the University of South Florida, Joe teaches graduate courses on research methods in writing studies, rhetoric and technology, scholarly publishing, and composition pedagogy. Joe is Founder of My Reviewers, which seeks to improve students’ writing, critical thinking, and collaborative competencies (more).

quentin-viereggeQuentin Vieregge
Editor-in-Chief
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Quentin Vieregge is an Assistant Professor of English at UW-Barron County. He teaches courses in First Year Composition, Business Communication, Film, and Religious Literature, and he directs writing tutors at the Campus Learning Center. His research interests include Collaborative Writing Through Commons-Based Peer Production, the Rhetoric of Online Christian Communities, and Distance Education.

Shelley HayesShelley Hayes
Chief Technology Officer

Shelley Hayes is a doctoral candidate in Instructional Technology at the University of South Florida. Her research interests are informal learning, assessment of writing, and games in learning environments. Shelley previously served as CTO of Writing Commons from 2010-2012.  

 

 

 

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Daniel Richards
Senior Editor of Technical Communication 

Daniel Richards is an Assistant Professor of English at Old Dominion University, specializing in Technical Communication. His research interests include the Rhetoric of Risk and Disaster, Posthumanist Theory, and American Pragmatism. Dr. Richards is also the Writing Commons editor of Professional and Technical Writing. 

 

 

 

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Mitchell Ray James
Assistant Creative Writing Editor of Writing Commons

Doctoral candidate (ABD) in the Composition and TESOL program
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Mitch James was born and raised in Central Illinois, where he received a BA in English with a minor in Creative Writing from Eastern Illinois University. He received a Masters in Literature from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and has had fiction and poetry published in Decomp, Underground Voices, Kill Author Digital Americana and Blue Earth Review among others. Mitch is a doctoral candidate (ABD) in the Composition and TESOL program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he's both an instructor in the English Department and Assistant Coordinator of the English Writing Portfolio Placement Program.
Mitch's latest scholarly article, "Tragedy, Plot, Fiction: A Study of Sameness and How You May Have Been Duped," was recently published in New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing.

 

Jason Tham

Jason Tham

Web Design and Advertisements 
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Jason Tham is a PhD student in Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. His research interests are digital pedagogy, new media composing, online education and distance learning. 

  

 

 

kyleKyle Larson 

Copy Editor
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Kyle Larson is a masters student in Rhetoric and Composition at Miami University (Ohio). His research interests include digital rhetoric, interface design theory, composition theory, feminist thought, and critical pedagogy.

 

 

 

alaina-tackittAlaina Tackitt
Assistant Editor 
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Alaina Tackitt is a doctoral student in Rhetoric and Composition at USF with interests in Classics, Cultural Studies, Rhetorical Theory, and Feminist Thought.

 

 

 

frank ileneIlene Frank
Librarian

Ilene graduated from University of Michigan with a Masters in Library Science in 1974. She held a position as Reference Librarian at University of South Florida from 1974 - 2009. Her main assignments were in Reference, Instruction, and Collection Development. She has maintained an interest in the use of technology for teaching and learning. She has been teaching online courses as an adjunct for UMUC since 2001. She is also Director of Library Services for University of the People, a tuition-free, global, online university.

 

 

 

CassandraBranham

Cassandra Branham
Assistant Editor, Technical Writing
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Cassandra Branham received her Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of South Florida and is pursuing a PhD in Texts and Technologies at the University of Central Florida.

 

 

Staff Archives 

 

Arnett JonathanE. Jonathan Arnett
Assistant Professor of English
Kennesaw State University

E. Jonathan Arnett is an Assistant Professor in the Professional Writing Program at Kennesaw State University, where he teaches Technical Writing, Professional Editing, and First Year Composition. His research interests include Rhetoric of Science and Professional Editing Course Pedagogy.

Barton MattMatt Barton
Associate Professor of English
Saint Cloud State University

Matt Barton teaches Composition and Digital Media courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. His research focuses on Digital Media, Wikis, and Video Games. He is the co-editor of Wiki Writing: Collaborative Learning in the Classroom; co-author of Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time; and author of Dungeons & Desktops: The History of Computer Role-Playing Games (A K Peters/CRC Press, 2008). He has published articles in the journals Computers and Composition, Technical Communications Quarterly, Game Studies, and several edited collections. He is also the producer of Matt Chat, a weekly YouTube program featuring interviews with game developers and historical retrospectives of classic games. Matt has an academic website, a blog, and a YouTube Channel.

Matt BalkMatt Balk
Instructor and PhD Student 
Ball State University 

Matt Balk is a PhD student at Ball State University, where he teaches First Year Composition.  He is currently the Assistant Director of the Writing Center.  His research interests include Social Media Usage in the Composition Classroom, as well as Synchronous Online Communication Methods.

 

CarneyWilliamWilliam Carney
Assistant Professor of English
Cameron University

William Carney is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Composition Program at Cameron University in Oklahoma. In addition to Rhetoric and Composition, he has published on teaching English as a Foreign Language, varieties of English, and collaborative writing in venues such as Intercultural Communication Studies and the Journal of Language Teaching and Research. His current research interests all involve English as a Second Language and English as a Foreign Language, and he teaches classes in Technical Writing and Composition Pedagogy for English Education majors. He holds a doctorate from Texas Tech University and has earned Master’s Degrees in English and Organizational Behavior.

  

Joel Friederich Joel Friederich
Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin

Joel Friederich is a poet and Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Barron County in Northwestern Wisconsin. Blue to Fill the Empty Heaven, his full-length collection of his poetry, was published in 2009 by Silverfish Review Press after winning the Gerald Cable Award.  He has also published two chapbooks, Without Us from Finishing Line Press and The Body We Gather from Kulupi Press. His poetry has won a Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters prize, and individual poems have appeared in journals such as Witness, Prairie Schooner, Sou'wester, The Paris Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, River Styx, and others.   

Tamara

Tamara Girardi
PhD Candidate
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

A PhD candidate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Tamara Girardi teaches online and face-to-face for two community colleges in Pennsylvania. She holds a BA in English and Humanities (Jacksonville University, Florida) and an MLitt in Creative Writing (University of St. Andrews, Scotland). Her doctoral dissertation, It Can Be Acquired and Learned: Building a Writer-Centered Pedagogical Approach to Creative Writing, argues for a balance of practice and theory in daily assignments and attention to student writing and reading preferences.

Tamara writes young adult fiction, and her academic research interests include creative writing studies, online learning, student engagement, and writer-centeredness. Follow her on Twitter @TamaraGirardi 

Greenbaum Photo

Andrea Greenbaum
Professor of English/Director of Professional Writing

Barry University

Andrea Greenbaum teaches classes in professional writing, cultural studies, gender, multimedia writing, and screenwriting. She is also the Director of the Professional Writing Program and has served on the national editorial boards of College Composition and Communication and Florida English. Additionally, she has published four books: Judaic Perspectives on Rhetoric and Composition (Hampton Press, 2008), Jews of South Florida (Brandeis University Press, 2005), Emancipatory Movements: The Rhetoric of Possibility (SUNY Press, 2002), and Insurrections: Approaches to Resistance in Composition Studies (SUNY Press, 2001). Her articles and reviews have been published in numerous journals including, The Journal of Men’s StudiesComposition ForumWriting on the EdgeAmerican Studies, American Jewish HistoryShofarHumor: The International Journal of Humor ResearchJAC, Film and HistoryFlorida English, and the Journal of the Assembly of Expanded Perspectives on Learning.

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Heidi Skurat Harris
Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Heidi Skurat Harris is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Writing at the U​niversity of Arkansas at Little Rock where she teaches technical writing, grant writing, digital rhetoric and rhetorical theory and has developed a certificate in online writing instruction. Her research interests are online and digital pedagogy and online professional development. She also sits on the Conference on Composition and Communication's Committee for Effective Practices in Online Instruction where she serves on the editorial board of the Online Writing Instruction Open Resource.

stephanie-hedgeStephanie Hedge
Assistant Professor of English
SUNY Potsdam

Stephanie Hedge is an Assistant Professor of English at SUNY Potsdam. She teaches writing courses to both undergraduates and graduate students, including digital writing, and courses on rhetoric and composition theory. Her research focuses on new media writing and digital literacies.

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Mitchell Ray James
Assistant Creative Writing Editor of Writing Commons
Doctoral candidate (ABD) in the Composition and TESOL program
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Mitch James was born and raised in Central Illinois, where he received a BA in English with a minor in Creative Writing from Eastern Illinois University. He received a Masters in Literature from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and has had fiction and poetry published in Decomp, Underground Voices, Kill Author Digital Americana and Blue Earth Review among others. Mitch is a doctoral candidate (ABD) in the Composition and TESOL program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he's both an instructor in the English Department and Assistant Coordinator of the English Writing Portfolio Placement Program.
Mitch's latest scholarly article, "Tragedy, Plot, Fiction: A Study of Sameness and How You May Have Been Duped," was recently published in New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing.

 

christopher-justiceChristopher Justice 
Lecturer 
The University of Baltimore

Christopher Justice is a lecturer and teaches courses in Composition, Linguistics, and Literature. As a doctoral student in the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Language, Literacy, and Culture program, his interdisciplinary research focuses on Environmental Discourse, Ecocomposition and Ecoliteracy. He examines how people compose and write about the ecological "place" known as a fishery and how diverse, multimodal discourses—including literary, journalistic, cinematic, and scientific texts—influence how we conceptualize, regulate, and interact with fisheries, particularly those in the Chesapeake Bay. Other scholarly interests include Visual Rhetoric, Writing in the Disciplines, Writing Program Administration, Journalism, and Environmental Humanities. Additionally, he is a film scholar and has recently published chapters in Edgar G. Ulmer: Detour on Poverty RowThe Worlds of Back to the FutureThe Films of Joseph H. Lewis, and The Cinema of Michael Haneke: Europe Utopia

amy 2Amy C. Kimme Hea
Director of the Writing Program & Associate Professor
University of Arizona 

Dr. Amy C. Kimme Hea is Director of the Writing Program and an Associate Professor in the Rhetoric, Composition, and Teaching of English Program at the University of Arizona. Her research interests include Spatial Rhetoric, Hypertext Theory, Computers and Composition, Writing Program Administration and Assessment, and Professional and Technical Writing Theory and Practice. She is on the Executive Committee of the Consortium of Doctoral Programs in Rhetoric and Composition, and at the University of Arizona, she facilitates a Faculty Learning Community on Program Assessment. Her collection Going Wireless: A Critical Exploration of Wireless and Mobile Technologies for Composition Teachers and Researchers (Hampton Press, 2009) was nominated for the Computers and Composition Best Book Award, and she has published in a range of peer-reviewed edited collections and journals in the field.

 

Bonnie Kyburzbonnie lenore kyburz
Associate Professor 
Lewis University

bonnie lenore kyburz teaches writing, rhetoric, and digital media studies at Lewis University. A long time Sundance volunteer, film lover, performer, and rhetorician, kyburz makes short digital films that hope to resonate as entertaining, provocative arguments, especially for an evolving linguistic academic scene. Her work also appears in Composition Studies, College English, and other NCTE publications. She is currently working toward publication of her book Screen(ing) Rhetorics: Affective Digital Mediations Toward Film-Composition with the #writing series and West Virginia University Press.

 

jennifer-nowitnyJennifer Lee Novotney
Instructor

MMI Preparatory School

Jennifer Lee Novotney teaches English at MMI Preparatory School in Freeland, PA. She has taught writing courses at Pennsylvania State University and was Coordinator of Writing at Misericordia University in Dallas, PA, where she directed the Writing Center. She was selected as a national judge for the 2012 and 2013 National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Awards in Writing, and she judged the Norman Mailer College Poetry Awards in 2012 and 2013. She has been a consultant for Pearson in Composition and Literature, as well. A native of Los Angeles, CA, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from California State University and a Master of Arts in English from Northern Arizona University. She is a published author of magazine articles, poetry, and short stories. Her novel, Winter in The Soul,was published in 2014.
 
 
Angela Writer
 

Angela Eward-Mangione
Instructor
Hillsborough Community College

Angela Eward-Mangione is a Full-Time Instructor in the English Department at Hillsborough Community College, where she teaches English Composition I and English Composition II. Her research interests include Adaptations, Cultural Studies, and Pedagogy for Composition and Literature Courses. 

 
 
  

Marlow JenniferJennifer Marlow
Assistant Professor of English

College of Saint Rose

Jennifer Marlow is Assistant Professor of English at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY where she teaches courses in Composition and New Media. Her work focuses on Educational Technology Software and its uses in the writing classroom. When she is not busy researching Innovative Digital Technologies that bring learning "outside the box," she makes documentaries with colleague, Megan Fulwiler, about how the labor conditions of higher education affect everything from academic freedom to student learning to how we implement and think about technology. 

 

Patricia Portanova

Patricia Portanova 
Assistant Professor of English & (S.T.E.P) faculty member
Northern Essex Community College & Bentley University

Patricia Portanova is an Assistant Professor at Northern Essex Community College and a Summer Transitional Education Program (S.T.E.P) faculty member at Bentley University where she teaches first-year writing, creative writing, technical and professional writing, and linked reading/writing learning communities. She also serves as chair of the Northeast Writing Across the Curriculum Consortium and co-chair of the CCCC Cognition and Writing Special Interest Group. She holds a doctorate in Composition Studies from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s of Arts in English from Bridgewater State College. Her current research interests include media distractions and student writing, information design, reading development, and writing assessment theory and practice.

  

daisy 1Daisy Pignetti
Assistant Professor of Composition and Rhetoric
University of Wisconsin-Stout

Daisy Pignetti’s passion for evaluating college-level writing blossomed as she worked as a teaching assistant during her M.A. and Ph.D. programs, and continues to grow in her current position as an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. While she was hired as a Rhetoric and Composition generalist, her teaching of the upper-level course, "Advanced Rhetoric," led to a more involved role in the Professional Communication and Emerging Media program and eventually the newly created Master of Science in Technical and Professional Communication program.

A proud New Orleans native, she has presented her research on selfless and successful social media use in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster to the Oxford Internet Institute and Association of Internet Researchers in addition to the Computers and Writing community. She has been published in Computers and Composition Online and Reflections: A Journal of Writing, Service-Learning, and Community Literacy and her book chapter on blogs is part of Hampton Press’s New Dimensions in Computers and Composition series.
 

abigail-schegAbigail Scheg
Assistant Professor of English
Elizabeth City State University

Abigail Scheg currently teaches at Elizabeth City State University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing (California University of Pennsylvania), Master of Arts in Literature (Slippery Rock University) and a PhD in Composition (Indiana University of Pennsylvania). Her research interests include Online Teacher Training, Computers and Composition, and most recently, Online Assessment. Follow her on Twitter @Abigail_Scheg

 

AndreaScottAndrea Scott
Assistant Professor of Academic Writing
Pitzer College

Andrea Scott is Assistant Professor for Academic Writing at Pitzer College, where she also directs the Writing Center. Before joining the Claremont Colleges, she taught for five years in the Princeton Writing Program and served as the Associate Director for the Writing Seminars from 2010-2013. Her research and teaching interests include Writing Center Theory, Writing Across the Curriculum/Writing In the Discipline, and the International Turn in Writing Studies. Her most recent project focuses on the Transatlantic History of the Development of Writing Initiatives and Centers in Germany since the 1990s. By examining who is creating these programs and where they are situated within the university, her research contributes new ways of understanding how disciplinary knowledge and professional identities are constructed in writing studies outside North America. She holds an Master of Arts and PhD from the University of Chicago. 

lars-soderlund-photoLars Söderlund
Assistant Professor of English
 
Wright State University    

Lars Söderlund is an Assistant Professor of English at Wright State University, where he directs their Professional and Technical Writing program. His research interests include academic publishing, rhetorical theory, and professional writing program administration.

 

 

B SullivanBrogan Sullivan
Assistant Professor of English
University of South Florida

Brogan Sullivan writes fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction and teaches creative writing and composition at the undergraduate level. His work has been published in Spry Literary Journal and First Inkling. His research interests include creative writing pedagogy, narratology, ethics, gender studies, and post-apocalyptic literature. He is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of South Florida.

 

 

taylorTodd Taylor
Professor of English
University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill

Todd Taylor is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research focuses "on how our notions of literacy are changing in response to emerging communications technologies such as the Internet" (full bio here). Todd served as the Director of the UNC Writing Program from July 2005 to July 2009, and in July 2009, he was appointed the Norman and Dorothy Eliason Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature.

 

WeberHeadshotRyan Weber 
Business and Technical Writing Program Director
University of Alabama-Huntsville
  
Ryan Weber teaches technical writing courses at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where he directs the Business and Technical Writing Program. His research focuses on NASA and science communication, social media, entrepreneurial rhetoric, and public rhetoric. His work appears in College Composition and Communication, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, and Journal of Advanced Composition. He also runs uahtechcomm.com, a resource for technical writing practitioners and scholars. He received his Ph.D from Purdue University in 2009.

 AngelaAngela Woodward
 Writing Center Director
 Edgewood College

Angela Woodward is the Writing Center Director at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. She is the author of “Contemplating Silence in a Basic Writing Classroom” (Modern Language Studies, Summer 2010) and “Genre, Diversity and Disorder in the Writing Center” (Praxis, 2007) as well as two books of fiction, the novel End of the Fire Cult (Ravenna Press, 2010) and the collection The Human Mind (Ravenna Press, 2007). You can find her book reviews in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Collagist, and Word Riot. She teaches composition, basic writing, and a course on composition theory and tutoring practice called “Teaching Writing One-on-One.” In 2014, she was writer in residence at the Bali Purnati Center for the Arts in Bali, Indonesia.

susan-youngbloodSusan Youngblood
Assistant Professor of English

Auburn University 

Susan A. Youngblood specializes in Technical and Professional Communication and is co-director of the Service Learning Opportunities in Technical Communication (SLOT-C) Database. Her current research largely examines how writing—including publicly published online writing—is crafted for individuals vulnerable to physical harm, cultural harm, and exclusion from access to information and services. She studies both the tensions and processes in that communication and how that writing could be improved.

 

 

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the new site design for Writing Commons, the open education home for writers. Our new design is not only more attractive and accessible thanks to the creative work of Alston Chapman, but it is also much better protected against hackers.

Our new website was precipitated by a recent challenge we faced at Writing Commons: between November 2015 and March 2016, we were repeatedly targeted by hackers who were attempting to profit off of the number of site visitors who visit the site. As a result, we have taken great measures to strengthen our security and eliminate the chance of future threats.

 

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Originally, as I explain in Open Textbook Publishing (Academe 2013), I founded Writing Commons because I was curious to explore the emerging power of the modern author, and I wanted to experiment with DIY publishing, peer production, and mentoring. Remarkably, since launching http://writingcommons.org in January of 2012, Writing Commons has become a popular site for students and instructors worldwide, enabling 4,792,490 readers to view 8,439,962 pages. We have been widely adopted by colleges and universities, including Duke University, The Georgia Institute of Technology, and The Ohio State University. Each day, we host between 5,000 and 12,000 users.

 

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Over the years, thanks to our Advisory Board and our Review Editors (comprised of distinguished English faculty, open education leaders, and writers), we have peer reviewed and published numerous outstanding webtexts that stretch the value of the site to students in a variety of college-level writing courses: composition, professional and technical writing, STEM writing, and creative nonfiction. We have also hosted the distinguished Aaron Swartz Award to celebrate the best webtext each year.

One of the advantages of publishing at Writing Commons is that your work can be widely read worldwide. For example, Jenna Pack’s “Using First Person in an Academic Essay: When is it Okay” has received 168,676 hits. Similarly, Jennifer Yirinec’s “How to Write an Engaging Introduction”has received 142,238 hits. It’s pretty cool that both of these authors were graduate students at the time they wrote those webtexts. Please see ”Contribute” to learn more about our submission and peer review guidelines.

Now that the site has exceeded our original expectations and we see that so many people find value in our project, we promise to redouble our efforts to make this the best possible free resource available to help college-level writers. Recently, to offset costs, we have included a few Google advertisements. Going forward, we want to explore new ways to obtain the resources we need to continue growing the site.  That said, don’t worry: we remain committed to offering Writing Commons free of charge.

Best wishes with your teaching and writing.

Sincerely,

Joe Moxley, JoeMoxley at gmail dot com
Founder, Writing Commons

Welcome to Writing Commons, the open-education home for writers. Our mission is to help college students improve their writing, research, and critical thinking. We publish a variety of webtexts on writing pedagogy. Major topics include Writing Processes, Information Literacy, Research Methods & Methodologies, Collaboration, Genres, Style, and New Media. Writing Commons publishes a monthly newsletter, unCommon News.

about Writing CommonsStudents in a variety of writing courses may use Writing Commons, including composition, business writing, STEM/technical writing, and creative writing.  Writing Commons sponsors the Aaron Swartz Best Webtext Award for the best original OER published by Writing Commons. Last year’s winner was Andrea Scott for her webtext, Formulating a Thesis.

In 2013, 1,277,591 users visited Writing Commons, averaging 5,000 users a day during the latter months of the year. In the first six months of 2014, over 500,000 visitors have visited. Widely adopted, Writing Commons is used by worldwide by numerous institutions, including Georgia Institute of Technology, Ohio State University, Duke University, Malmö University, and the University of Tartu.

Writing Commons TeamWe are fortunate to have a team of volunteers who work hard to make our commons project a popular, global resource. The Editorial Board and the Advisory Board, composed of distinguished academics, review submissions on a rolling basis.  In the first round of peer review, submissions are reviewed by our Staff. Reviews are conducted by our Review Editors. Members of the Editorial Board serve primarily in an advisory capacity, yet they may also review submissions.

Original webtexts published by Writing Commons are licensed under a Creative Commons 3.0 NC ND. In addition, Writing Commons reprints works with permission and publishes some works under a CC 3.0 SA.  

Writing Commons was founded in 2008 by Joe Moxley (more). Consult the FAQs.

 


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Social Media

Keep up with Writing Commons using your favorite social-media sites.

Writing Commons has its own Facebook site, where we keep our status and postings relevant to the latest site information, as well as news about the greater Open Education Resource community.

Writing Commons is also available on Twitter using @writingcommons and #writingcommons.

 

January, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

My aim in writing this post is to clarify my goal for developing Writing Commons.  For a more formal account, please see Open Textbook Publishing, Academe (September/October 2013). 

I hope that you’ll consider contributing to our community. 

Sincerely,

Joe Moxley, Ph.D.
Publisher and Executive Editor
Writing Commons 

 

Who Am I? 

I'm a Professor of English and Director of First-Year Composition at the University of South Florida. Since joining the faculty in 1984, I've published books, book chapters, and essays on writing pedagogy, scholarly publishing, electronic theses and dissertations, qualitative research methods, assessment, and learning communities (more).  Besides Writing Commons, my primary research effort now involves developing My Reviewers, a web-based, document markup, peer review, and assessment tool.

When did I begin working on Writing Commons?

I founded Writing Commons in 2008 when I published the work as College Writing, the website you're viewing used to be collegewriting.org. The original core of this work was the 320 articles originally published as College Writing Online with Pearson in 2003.  Then in 2010, I migrated College Writing to Writing Commons, the website you currently use. Since then, Writing Commons has employed a peer-review process to vet submissions of original webtexts.

From my perspective, I've been working on this project since 2001—that's when I began work on College Writing Online.  An alternative to print textbooks, College Writing Online aspired to be an interactive learning space for composition students. In 2003 the project was awarded the Distinguished Book Award from Computers and Composition, an International Journal.

In 2008, after Pearson returned copyright to me for College Writing Online, I faced a value question: Did I want to re-sell the project and let another publisher own copyright (and build a paywall around it) or did I want to self publish the project?

I could identify several benefits to working again with a publisher. The biggest advantage was probably the affirmation embodied in a traditional publication agreement. That sort of external vetting is crucial to credibility in the academic community. Being published by a university press or a good academic publisher means the work has been peer reviewed and carefully vetted by disciplinary experts. Over all, I believe publishers can add great value to a project thanks to peer review, experience, and their knowledge of disciplinary trends. Plus, having a sales force behind a book can be invaluable.

On the other hand, I could see some disadvantages: I was particularly troubled by the concern that my book wouldn't be a priority for the publisher, that it would be one of many being published. The possibility of the project languishing for yet another decade was too troubling to ignore. Given this, I chose a DIY (Do It Yourself) model of publishing.

What are the benefits of DIY (Do It Yourself) publishing? 

Okay, so here’s my core argument: Writing isn't what it used to be. Authors have new tools, new ways of publishing and interacting with their audiences. Thanks to the affordances of contemporary Internet technologies, writers no longer need publishers if they are willing to undertake the necessary activities publishers typically performed, such as copyediting and marketing your work.

That said, I understand faculty need to be strategic in how they publish and subsequently how they copyright their work, and I understand tenure and promotion decisions typically exclude or discount textbooks and other pedagogical resources (despite Boyer's call for the Scholarship of Teaching). When weighing tenure and promotion, the academic reward system still privileges traditional academic journals and university presses.  Eventually, and perhaps in some disciplines this is already true, faculty will be rewarded for publishing in online, open-access journals and these journals may be controlled by Elsevier or academic organizations that require faculty to give up copyright in exchange for publication.

Nonetheless, faculty can enjoy positive benefits from publishing their pedagogical materials on their own websites or via other open education sites. Writing Commons exemplifies this process. Rather than releasing copyright to an academic, trade, or commercial publisher for 5 to 15% of royalties, faculty can maintain ownership of their work when they contribute to open-education projects like Writing Commons. Thanks to the Internet and free or inexpensive publishing tools, faculty no longer need to find publishers to print and publicize their work; they can now publish their work online and reach significant numbers of readers worldwide.

For very little money, about $100 to $500 year, faculty can break free of the constraints of Blackboard or Web CT. Many hosting providers supply a suite of free, open-source authoring tools, such as Joomla, Word Press, and Drupal. In my experience, these tools are surprisingly powerful if not always easy to use. Instead of building a new course in an overly complicated, institution-owned, rigid content management systems every semester—and then needing to do it again and again, semester after semester—faculty can host their ideas and their classes on their server at their own domains. This is particularly helpful when faculty teach the same courses each semester or year. Developing an online textbook for a course you regularly teach can enable faclty to build a sturdy course/learning space that grows over time.

But today's online publishing platforms do much more for authors than empower and simplify the publishing process: they enable writers to build communities around their projects, to coauthor and extend topics, to turbocharge the creative process, to invite others into the revision and editing process. At the same time, these new writing tools, these new writing spaces, redefine what it means to be a writer.

As a faculty member, if you can develop a financially competitive textbook and sell it through a commercial publisher, then that’s an outstanding option. Faculty members deserve good pay for their work, and I support adopting expensive textbooks, so long as they are used well and non-free ones are unavailable. At 15% on a $100 textbook, the rewards for textbook authors can be astonishing—especially for textbooks that pertain to large, required courses. Perhaps you know or have heard about a textbook author who was extraordinarily successful. And there’s nothing wrong with that, particularly if you want to retire and sail around the Caribbean, climb K2 or Everest, or take extended bike tours around Italy, visiting castles and fine restaurants. Clearly, good work if you can get it.

Despite outliers, however, the bottom line is that most textbooks don’t make money for their authors. In most disciplines, the ship has sailed on the big book. Until some major shift in a discipline’s knowledge base, textbook authors lack the leverage they need to position their book as a viable alternative to the 12th or 15th edition of the tried-and-true version. Publishers continue to churn out dozens, often hundreds of books for the same discipline, however, because they hope to capture local markets. These publishers understand that customizing books for specific universities (even if that just means a new cover of the work and adjusting the purported author(s) of the work) helps resales. Customized books cannot be dumped on the national markets and local universities have financial incentives to re-edit the works.

The problem for most academic authors is that they are expected to sign away their copyright in exchange for 5% to 15% royalties. If the book fails, like the majority of textbooks do, then the author has lost control over his or her intellectual property for pennies on the dollar. Regrettably—and I know this from personal experience—some publishers refuse to return copyright even after a book fails, which means the work is lost forever. To me, this is a significant danger: we all have only so many words we can write in a career.  Given all this, I became interested in a DIY publishing model for Writing Commons.

What has been the impact of Writing Commons thus far? 

Writing Commons is a global resource.  See our newsletters for updates on our user traffic.  I also reflect on user patterns at my blog on Academe.

In 2012, we witnessed significant growth in our global readership. Early in 2012, we averaged about 200 users a day; by midyear that number had grown to 500 users a day. During the last three months of 2012, we averaged over 1,500 users a day.  

Our traffic grew exponentially during 2013.  By March 2013, we moved from 1,500 users a day to 3,000 users a day. In August 2013, we averaged 5,199 users a day. By September and October we reached the high point of the year with 7,000 users day; then during the latter months of 2013, we averaged about 5,000 users a day.  By year's end, we'd had more than a million users visit the site.

What are the rewards of peer production?

Beyond the intrinsic satisfaction of providing a useful resource and seeing folks use that resource, via tools such as Google Analytics, DIY publishing enables faculty to build communities around their works. Providing a social space for learners by embedding collaboration tools like wikis, discussion forums, or social bookmarking can be an energizing way to sustain and extend your teaching.

From my experiencing directing the Writing Program at USF, I've found that graduate students, adjuncts, and university faculty take pleasure in developing collaboratively-authored pedagogical materials. Additionally, developing online teaching and learning spaces via collaborative tools energizes colleagues as well as students, giving them an opportunity to extend their learning, to talk with one another, and to produce relevant texts—texts that other Internet-users may read. Engaging colleagues and students in a collaborative effort to build a viable textbook creates energy and focus for courses. Rather than importing the values of a book editor from Boston or New York, faculty can customize their contributions to meet the special needs of their students and colleagues.

On a personal level, I've learned a lot from opening Writing Commons to a community project as opposed to a solely self-published project. Our Editorial Board (an advisory committee) and Review Board (which supervises the peer-review process with oversight from Quentin Vieregge, our Managing Editor) is composed of talented, generous teacher-scholars who have unique and dynamic ideas for growing the project—ideas that extend beyond anything I could imagine. 

Ultimately, from my perspective as an academic author, crowdsourcing Writing Commons has turned out better than I expected. Writing Commons now hosts over 700 essays on various aspects of writing pedagogy. Thanks to the generous contributions of the Editorial Board and Review Boards along with the very hard work of our staff, we are better positioned to accomplish our mission—to stretch the fabric of the textbook, to grow the resource so that it's more interactive and engaging, more in line with students' contemporary literacy practices. While all this may sound prosaic, for me it's been quite transformative. Now, rather than viewing the textbook as my sole contribution, I view the work as a collaborative, global effort to develop the best possible resource to address students' needs as researchers, citizens, and writers.

As a university professor, I’m aware of the traditional publishing practices and some of the benefits they offer. Even so, it’s time for faculty to ask, “Why not? Why not plant a flag?” You can start out small. In the beginning you don’t need to commit to writing a massive text. In fact, you probably shouldn’t. Try loading a small lesson at a public blog or wiki site, or better yet, begin by joining our community at Writing Commons!

Together, by embracing peer production, social media, and intellectual freedom, we can extend our teaching, our professional lives, and our academic disciplines. (see Contribute).

Acknowledgements 

Many people have helped with this project over the years.  I thank the original editors and reviewers for College Writing Online. Since moving to a participatory model, a good many university faculty, open-education leaders, and graduate students have shared their expertise to advance the development of Writing Commons.

I thank the our Editorial Board for sharing advice on how to best grow Writing Commons.  Mike Palmquist, Janice Walker, Charlie Lowe, Shelley Hayes, Alston Chapman—these folks have provided invaluable advice and support.  Quentin Vieregge and our Review Editors have worked with great dedication and professionalism, proving very quick yet thorough reviews on webtext submissions.  And I'm especially grateful for Katelin Kaiser who has worked tirelessly on Writing Commons from the beginning.  Between 2007 and 2013, Katelin cheerfully worked and reworked navigational schemes, templates, and intefaces.  Without Katelin this project would still be a naescent idea rather than a popular, global resource. 

 

 

 

 

 

Call for Articles: Professional and Technical Writing

Teachers, researchers, and practitioners in professional and technical writing have developed and are privy to effective strategies for writing in and with a multitude of genres and technologies, respectively. These strategies can range anywhere from knowing the conventions of composing professional memos to understanding the principles behind designing clear instructions to gaining the technical expertise required to experiment with new writing applications.

The professional and technical writing branch of Writing Commons thus asks potential contributors the following question: How can we help students and technical and professional writers to better understand these situations and genres of writing as skills and strategies for productive participation and critique of workplace communications?

In light of this question, we seek submissions for web-based articles addressing the following topics (not an exhaustive list):

  • Formatting with graphics
  • Memos
  • Résumés (e.g., online, scannable, paper)
  • Scientific and/or lab reports
  • Posters (e.g., conference)
  • Presentation materials and technologies (e.g., PowerPoint, Prezi)
  • Instructions/manuals
  • Usability/User experience/personas
  • Document organization
  • Object (mechanism) descriptions
  • Proposals
  • Audience analysis
  • Grant writing

Writing Commons seeks submissions that approach these topics from the perspective of the “best strategies” for understanding an individual task in reflective and productive ways.

Submissions should be composed in a Word file, with links embedded directly in the document. Images, video, and/or other multimedia should be attached separate from the text document but as part of the same email. Submissions for Professional and Technical Writing can be sent to Senior Editor Dr. Daniel Richards at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Unsolicited submissions not addressing the above topics are discouraged.

Don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Richards with any questions about the submission process or Writing Commons itself.

Writing Commons traces its roots back to 2003 when Joe Moxley published College Writing Online with Longman/Pearson. Since then, a good many university faculty, open-education leaders, and graduate students have shared their expertise to advance the development of Writing Commons. 

We are particularly indebted to our Editorial Board and Review Editors for sharing their professional expertise and time in reviewing documents.  

In terms of staff, we are especially thankful Katelin Kaiser, an undergraduate student at the University of South Florida who has worked continously on the project since 2008, crafting page design, visuals, and hyperlinks. 

For developing the Common Comments section, we thank Dianne Donnelly, Nancy E. Lewis, Brianna Jerman, Megan McIntyre, Jennifer Yirinec, and Jessica McKee.  For developing the APA Common Comments, we thank Maryam Alnaggar, an undergraduate technical writing student. 

 

 

 

 

 

Call for First-Year Composition Articles

Writing Commons, a peer-reviewed, online resource for writers, invites submissions for publication. Writing Commons is an open-education resource for undergraduate students. While we welcome all submissions, we currently have a special call for first-year composition webtexts, especially for articles on these topics:

 

  • Remediation
    • Various articles: the process of remediating a text, how medium affects the message, constructing a remediation generates research questions related to the original text, how to reflect on rhetorical choices made during the remediation process, etc.
  • Theses
      Constructing a classical argumentative thesis, constructing a thesis for a Rogerian argument essay, how to more effectively focus an essay, etc.
  • "New Media Writing" (introduction)
    • Provide an overview of various forms of "new media writing," including blogging, tweeting, social networking, posting to discussion boards, and creating fan fiction. Discuss the unique opportunities that new media writing provides for composers.
  • "Podcasts"
    • Explore podcasts as texts. You might approach the article as an instruction guide for creating podcasts using Audacity or another program, or you might discuss composition strategies when creating podcasts -- the ability to combine music with words and how that influences a text, etc.)
  • "YouTube Videos"
    • Discuss the phenomenon of YouTube, including the potential it offers for composing visual texts.
  • "Identifying an Argument"
    • Explain how to locate an author's central claim (thesis).
  • “Writing in Narrative Style”
    • Explain to students how to write an essay in narrative form, telling a story in a succinct but engaging manner.
  • Various Articles on Historiography
    • Articles are encouraged that deal with writing about history, interpreting historical texts, identifying biases, considering context of pieces, etc.
  • “Seeing ‘History’ as an Evolving Process”
    • Explain to students that the term “history” is not synonymous with the term “fact.” Explain how history may incorporate factual information, but note how “history” is an interpretation of such factual information and make take into consideration issues like gender, race, political differences, etc. Providing an example of different “histories” about the same focused topic and noting why they differ is especially encouraged.
  • “Determining an Audience”
    • Explain to students how to determine their audience when constructing a remediation. Showing students how to move from a broader audience (i.e., “Americans”) to a more focused audience (i.e., “middle-class American consumers”) is especially encouraged. Provide a checklist of factors to consider at the end of the piece.
  • “Checklist for Tracing Claims throughout a Paper”
    • Provide a checklist that students may use to determine whether they’ve successfully carried their thesis throughout the paper via their claims and whether all the claims support their thesis.

 

Please email submissions to Jennifer Yirinec at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Quentin Vieregge at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as a doc or docx file.. Please note that the incorporation of multimedia components is highly encouraged. Citations should follow the current edition of The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.

For more details, see our guide for authors.

Call for Webtexts: Creative Approaches to Style and Grammar

 

Writing teachers have been talking about style forever, yet the errors keep rolling in. What's the deal? Isn't the medium the message? Here at Writing Commons, we're interested in ways new media can be used to revisit a vital but persistent problem—style. We ask that you creatively address (using multimedia components or through unique activities) a principle/topic from the list below:

  • Grammar
    • Subject/verb agreement
    • Pronoun-antecedent relationships
    • Comma splices
    • Misplaced modifiers
    • Dangling modifiers
    • Run-on sentences
    • Sentence fragments
    • Shifts in verb tense
  • Point of view
    • First-person point of view
    • Second-person point of view
    • Third-person point of view
    • Unnecessary shifts in point of view
  • Punctuation
    • Quotation mark usage
    • Hyphen usage
    • End punctuation usage
  • Sentence construction
    • Varying sentence structure
    • Parallel structure
    • Avoiding primer-style sentences
  • Spelling and capitalization
    • Checking spelling and meaning
    • Homonyms
    • Capitalization rules
  • Word choice
    • Appropriateness in word choice
    • Eliminating unnecessary words
    • Using concrete, sensory language 
    • Using language that is sensitive to the target audience
    • Using appropriate academic language
  • Word order
    • Rephrasing awkward word order

 

Submissions should be emailed as an attachment to Jennifer Yirinec at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Quentin Vieregge at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more details, please see our guide for authors.



A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z 

A

Jose AparicioJose Aparicio is a PhD student at the University of South Florida. His research interests include American and British Modernism and Contemporary Fiction, Literary Theory, and Emotion.

 


 

B

Cassandra Branham | Cassandra Branham received her Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of South Florida and is pursuing a PhD in Texts and Technologies at the University of Central Florida.

Adam Breckenridge| Adam Breckenridge is a Doctoral Candidate in the Rhetoric and Composition program at the University of South Florida. His research interests include Film, Creative Writing and Online Spaces.

Emma Brown | Emma Brown, Master of Arts recipient, works as an Adjunct Instructor for the Mass Communications Department at the University of South Florida Tampa campus. Emma’s research interests include Media Framing, Media Law, and Education.

 


 

C

Jason Carabelli | Jason Carabelli is a PhD student in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media at North Carolina State University. His research interests include Technical Communication, New Media, and Web Design. 

Steve E. Carson | Steve Carson is External Relations Director for MIT OpenCourseWare (http://ocw.mit.edu). His responsibilities include sustainability initiatives; strategic partnerships with other organizations; MIT OpenCourseWare's support of opencourseware projects at other institutions; special projects in priority areas; and project evaluation. Steve also served as the first president of the OpenCourseWare Consortium from 2008 to 2011, where he oversaw the incorporation of the organization as an independent non-proft, secured funding to support its operation and helped grow membership to include more than 250 universities globally. He currently serves on the organization's Board of Directors.

Dr. Michael Charlton | Dr. Michael Charlton is an Assistant Professor at Missouri Western State University, where he teaches Composition, Technical Writing, and Public Relations Writing. 

Cassie Childs | Cassie Childs is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of South Florida. Her current research interests include Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Literature—and Eighteenth-Century Women Writers in particular. She edited the second edition of Rhetoric Matters for the First Year Composition program at USF, and has a forthcoming book review in Women’s Writing.

Sam Corbett | Sam Corbett received his Master of Arts in Literature from the University of South Florida in 2012. He is interested in how knowledge, memory and history is transmitted between individuals and eras. His literary interests include Southern Noir and Post-Modernism.


D

Fredrik deBoer | Fredrik deBoer is a doctoral student in Rhetoric and Composition. He holds an MA in English with a focus in writing and rhetoric from the University of Rhode Island and a BA in English and philosophy from Central Connecticut State University. His research interests include secondary and postsecondary writing pedagogy, institutional critique, and quantitative research methodologies

Rhonda Dietrich | Rhonda Dietrich holds the position of Adjunct Professor of English Composition at the University of Wisconsin-Barron County.


E

Eir-Anne Edgar | Eir-Anne Edgar is a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Kentucky's department of English. Her research focuses on feminist, queer, and African American texts of the Cold War era and issues of American citizenship. Eir-Anne was the co-editor of disClosure: A Journal of Social Theory, Issue 21, Spring 2012. She has written about Charlotte Perkins Gilman's novel Herland in World Literary History and drag performance in "RuPaul's Drag Race" in Studies in Popular Culture.

Angela Eward-Mangione |Angela Eward-Mangione is currently a doctoral student in the Literature program at the University of South Florida with interests in Cultural Studies, Adaptation Theory, Early Modern Literature, and Post-colonial Literature.


F

Danielle FarrarDanielle Farrar is a first-year Ph.D. student in Literature at the University of South Florida. Her academic interests include early modern drama, particularly the revenge tragedies of Shakespeare’s contemporaries and cultural studies, including the history of anatomy/dissection and medicine.


 G


 H


 I


 J

Brianna Jerman | Brianna Jerman is a doctoral student in English with a focus in literature at the University of South Florida. Her research interests include modern and post-modern literature, women’s studies, and psychoanalytic theory.


K

 

 


 

L

Mark Leib | Leib 's plays and adaptations have been produced Off-Broadway and in Cambridge, Edinburgh, and St. Petersburg, Florida. He has worked for Universal Studios/Turman-Foster Productions in Hollywood and has written for cable television in Orlando, Florida.  He is theatre critic for the alternative newspaper Creative Loafing in the Tampa Bay area, and has won seven awards for excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists, including three first-place Sunshine State Awards. Leib was the first playwriting lecturer at the Institute for Advanced Theatre Study at Harvard University in 1989-90, and is currently Visiting Instructor in the English Department of  University of South Florida. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, where he won the CBS Foundation Prize in Playwriting.

Nancy E. LewisNancy E. Lewis received a Master of Arts degree from the University of South Florida’s College of Education. As part of the Adjunct Faculty and the First-Year Composition staff at USF, she currently works as an FYC instructor and has had the privilege of serving as a mentor to incoming graduate teaching assistants. With her background as a long-time literacy educator and life-long learner, Lewis appreciates the opportunity to write brief pedagogical articles that provide support for college writers.

 


 

M

Katherine McGee | Katherine McGee is a PhD Candidate at the University of South Florida. Her research interests include gothic literature and ecocriticism, and she is currently working on her dissertation on the novels of Ann Radcliffe and Mary Shelley.

Jessica McKee | Jessica McKee is a PhD candidate at the University of South Florida. Her research interests include American literature, gender studies, and pedagogy. She is currently completing her dissertation on the novels of Toni Morrison.

M.C. Morgan | MC Morgan is a professor of English, former Director of The Writing Resource Center and former Director of Composition at Bemidji State University. He teaches academic writing, electronic rhetoric, technical writing and writing for the web and new media. In 2006 was awarded the BSU TELL Grant for Creating an Internship Opportunity: Blogging Interns. http://mcmorgan.org/

Dr. Joseph Moxley | Joe Moxley is the founder, publisher and CEO for Writing Commons. A professor of English and Director of Composition at the University of South Florida, Moxley has published books, articles, and chapters on a variety of topics, including creative writing pedagogy; qualitative research methodologies; digital libraries; learning communities, scholarly publishing, and ETDs (electronic theses or dissertations).


 N

 


 

O


 

P

Jenna Pack | Jenna Pack is a PhD student in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English at the University of Arizona. Her research interests include digital scholarship, theories of interactivity, computers and composition studies, and professional/technical writing. Visit her website at http://jennapackpedagogy.com.

 


 

Q

 


 

R

Daniel Richards Dr. Daniel Richards is an assistant professor of English at Old Dominion University, specializing in technical communication. His research interests include the rhetoric of risk and disaster, posthumanist theory, and American pragmatism.

 


 

S

Dr. Kyle D. Stedman | Dr. Kyle D. Stedman is assistant professor of English at Rockford College (effective August 2012), where he teaches courses in writing and rhetoric. His work explores sonic rhetorics, intellectual property, and fan studies. His publications have appeared in Computers and Composition, Currents in Electronic Literacy, and the Writing Spaces series of textbooks, and his coauthored book for NCTE, Agency in the Age of Peer Production, was released in Summer 2012.

Brogan Sullivan | Brogan Sullivan is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of South Florida, where he teaches fiction writing and English composition.

 


 

T

Susan Gail Taylor | Susan Gail Taylor is a doctoral student in English with a focus in rhetoric and composition at the University of South Florida. She holds a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in Professional and Technical Writing and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science all from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her academic interests include first-year composition pedagogy, composition theory, language theory, autoethnography, and the intersection between rhetoric and technology. She plans to examine digital and physical technical documents from the no-kill animal shelter reform debate and assess their rhetorical strategies for her dissertation.

 


 

U

 


 

V

 


 

W

Allison Wise | Allison Wise is a PhD candidate studying 20th-century British literature at the University of South Florida. Her research primarily explores the conjunction of material culture, memory, and the urban spaces of the British empire. She is also the Managing Editor of the Mailer Review, a journal devoted to the works of Norman Mailer.

Dr. Jason Wirtz | Jason Wirtz is an assistant professor of Rhetoric & Composition and English Education at Hunter College. His research focuses on writerly invention—the intellectual and practical strategies writers use to aid invention.

Dr. Amanda Wray | Dr. Amanda Wray teaches courses in the department of Literature and Language as well as Gender, Women, and Sexuality studies at the University of North Carolina in Asheville. She received a PhD in Composition, Rhetoric, and the Teaching of English from the University of Arizona

 


 

X


Y

Jennifer A. Yirinec | Jennifer Yirinec received her Master of Arts degree in English literature from the University of South Florida and is entering the PhD program in English literature at the University of Iowa. Her research interests include Victorian literature, pre-film technologies, adaptation theory, and composition studies.

 


 

Z


 

Call for Articles: Creative Writing

Invitation to Contribute

Award-winning Writing Commons, a global, peer-reviewed, open-education resource for college students invites the submission of creative writing articles intending to help college students to understand the concepts of creative writing and to improve their writing practice.

Audience  

The readership for your article/submission includes undergraduate students in creative writing courses. To address such an audience, avoid difficult theories or complex discussions of research and issues or detailed discussions of pedagogy; rather, consider the interests and perspectives of students, with various levels of expertise, working through college-level creative writing projects.

Length

The typical Writing Commons submission will be approximately 750 to 1,000 words long, although longer webtexts may be submitted. For longer pieces, the use of headings within the piece is highly encouraged.

Submissions

Please email submissions to Quentin Vieregge at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as a doc or docx. Authors should include a brief byline and email. Any included citations should follow the current edition of The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. The incorporation of multimedia components is also encouraged (e.g., images, hyperlinks). For more details, see our guide for authors.

Review

Because webtexts are more concise than traditional academic essays, we intend to have a quick turn-around time; from initial submission to notification of the submission’s status, please allow approximately four weeks.

Submission Topics

Fiction

  • Writing Fiction – an overview
  • Point of view
  • Concrete vivid details/images
  • A story’s arc
  • Voice
  • Conflict
  • Setting
  • Tone and style
  • Characterization
  • What your character wants
  • Dialogue
  • Tension
  • Scenes and summary
  • Flashbacks (and flashforwards)
  • Metaphor and analogy
  • Beginning and endings
  • Flash fiction
  • The long story

 

Nonfiction

  • Writing creative nonfiction – an overview – by Ira Sukrungruang
  • Creative nonfiction forms
    • Memoir
    • Personal essay
    • Travel narrative
    • Nature essay
    • Scientific writing
    • Literary journalism
  • The tenets of narrative
    • Voice
    • Setting
    • What your character wants
    • What your narrator wants
    • Dialogue
    • Writing exposition and the retrospective voice
    • Considering the double “I”

 

Poetry

  • Writing poetry – an overview
  • Where do poems originate?
  • The major forms of poetry
    • Acrostic
    • Ballad
    • Cinquain
    • Clerihew
    • Diamante
    • Didactic
    • Free verse
    • Ghazal
    • Haiku
    • Limerick
    • Sestina
    • Sonnet
    • Villanelle
  • Creating images
  • Lines and stanzas
  • Meter and rhythm
  • Sounds of language
  • Metaphor

 

Playwriting

  • Writing Plays – an overview – by Mark E. Leib
  • Action and plot
  • Characterization
  • Dialogue
  • Concept
  • Stage directions

 

Screenwriting

  • Writing films – an overview – by Mark E. Leib
  • Action and plot
  • Characterizations
  • Dialogue
  • Format
  • Description

 

Digital Creative Writing

  • Considering Digital Writing – an overview
  • Other topics are open for consideration

 

While we welcome submissions covering all aspects of writing, we are especially in need of content focused on information literacy. Submission should be between 500 and 1,000 words and should take advantage of the capabilities offered by the digital space (i.e., the ability to include Creative Commons-licensed images, to embed YouTube links or other media, to hyperlink, etc).

Topics may address:

  • What is information literacy? (an introduction to the concept)
  • Determining what information you need
    • Understanding the place of place of resources like Wikipedia  in the research process
  • Distinguishing between different types of sources (i.e., an edited collection, a book, a journal article, etc.)
  • Understanding the connection between writing and research
  • Citation Mining
  • Avoiding plagiarism and citing correctly
    • Formatting according to Chicago style
    • Formatting according to Harvard style
Submissions should be sent as Word docs to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
If images are used, please attach them to the same email as seperate files (perferaly jpegs), indicating their placement within the text file. Citation should follow the current edition of the MLA Handbook. For more formatting and style, please see the "Guide for Authors."
 
 

 

 "When to Quote and When to Paraphrase" by Brianna Jerman

 "Negotiating Virtual Spaces: Public Writing" by Cassandra Branham and Danielle Farrar

 "The Guiding Idea and Argumentative Thesis Statement" by Rhonda Dietrich

 "Making Sure Your Voice is Present" by Kyle D. Stedman

 "What are New Literacies?" by Kyle D. Stedman

 "Why Study Rhetoric? or, What Freestyle Rap Teaches Us about Writing" by Kyle D. Stedman

 "Style: An Introduction" by Jose Aparicio

 "Breaking Down an Image" by Jenna Pack

 "Understanding How Conversations Change over Time" by Michael Charlton

 "Copyright and Writing" by Daniel Richards and Kyle D. Stedman