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

How to use Writing Commons?

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

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

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

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Top Trending Webtexts

Part 3: Literary Criticism: An Introduction

Part Three: Literary Criticism: An Introduction was written by Angela Eward-Mangione, The University of South Florida

Part One: Literary Criticism: An Introduction   Part Two: Literary Criticism: An Introduction    

Feminist (Gender Studies) Criticism

Key Terms

Definitions

Gender Roles

a theoretical construct that refers to a cluster of social and behavioral conventions that are typically considered to be socially appropriate customs for individuals of a specific sex within a particular culture

Stereotypical Representations of Gender

representations of gender that rely on stereotypes and, therefore, represent men or women as underdeveloped individuals

Patriarchy

a social system in which men predominantly hold power in familial, social, and political spheres

 

Feminist criticism, or gender studies, focuses on the role of women (or gender) in a literary text. According to Bressler, “central to the diverse aims and methods of feminist criticism is its focus on patriarchy, the rule of society and culture by men” (168). Feminist criticism is useful for analyzing how gender itself is socially constructed for both men and women. Gender studies also considers how literature upholds or challenges those constructions, offering a unique way to approach literature.  

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Part 2: Literary Criticism: An Introduction

Part Two: Literary Criticism: An Introduction was written by Angela Eward-Mangione, The University of South Florida

Part One: Literary Criticism: An Introduction        Part Three: Literary Criticism: An Introduction 

Biographical Criticism

Key Terms

Definitions

Author

the composer, or writer, of a literary text

Biography 

an account of someone’s life written by someone other than the subject of the biography

Persona

a character or role adopted by an author

 

In contrast to analyzing the structure, codes, or patterns in a literary text, biographical criticism emphasizes the relationship between the author and his or her literary work. Since the premise of biographical criticism maintains that the author and his or her literary work cannot be separated, critics look for glimpses of the author’s consciousness or life in the author’s work. Early childhood events, psychological illnesses, relational conflicts, desires (fulfilled or unfulfilled), among other things, may all arise in an author’s work. Biographical criticism is not a new approach to literature. The overlap of biographical criticism with cultural studies, psychoanalytic criticism, and other schools of criticism has encouraged students and critics to approach literature from the perspective of the author’s biography.

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Literary Criticism: An Introduction

Literary Criticism: An Introduction was written By Angela Eward-Mangione, University of South Florida

Part Two: Literary Criticism: An Introduction         Part Three: Literary Criticism: An Introduction
 
 

What is Literature and Why Does it Matter?

Literature is what makes the world whirl. Whether a student is reading about Miranda’s encounter with a “Brave New World” in William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, a “falling star” in John Milton’s poem “Song,” or “a Spring Saturday” in Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye, what the student reads was written by an author who aimed to give a reader his or her perspective—or spin—on the world in the form of literature. By reading literature with a critical eye, one can begin to go beyond simply expressing a like or dislike of a particular text, delving deeper into the particular view of the world that an author wanted to convey. Literary criticism enables students and critics to develop an informed opinion about the meaning of a literary work.

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Identifying and Addressing Unclear Pronouns & Antecedents

“Identifying and Addressing Unclear Pronouns & Antecedents” was written by Julia L. McMillan

What are pronouns and antecedents?

A pronoun is any word that stands in for a previously stated noun, and an antecedent is whatever noun a certain pronoun represents. Using pronouns helps make writing less wordy and repetitive, improving style and expressing the same ideas in fewer words. For example, a piece about “George Washington,” the first president of the United States, does not need to repeat this full name every time it appears, but can instead refer to the antecedent “George Washington” with the pronoun “he”:

When George Washington was asked to run for office, he initially refused.

This article will discuss two common causes of unclear pronouns and antecedents. The first cause is when there are multiple possible antecedents that a single pronoun could refer to; the second is when a pronoun is used in the absence of any explicit antecedent.

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The Aaron Swartz Best Webtext Award 2014

The Aaron Swartz Best Webtext Award 2014

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

The Aaron Swartz Story

Photos on this page courtesy of University of Pennsylvania, University Communications.

Plugs Play Pedagogy Blog

"

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

Grumble, Grumble: The Pitfalls of Gaming Pedagogy
Plugs, Play, Pedagogy Podcast
Transcript is available here. Watch a screencast of this episode's main narration being recorded and edited into a final product here or on YouTube: Introduction Welcome to the second of two episodes dedicated to intersections of gaming and the pedagogy of teaching writing and rhetoric, both of which I co-edited with Stephanie Vie (@digirhet). Broadly speaking, the first episode dealt with specific ideas for teaching, while this episode digs into the messy complexities of gaming pedagogies (awesome as they are). We s...
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