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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

Audience Analysis: Primary, Secondary, and Hidden Audiences

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

Learning Outcomes

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

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

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How Are Your Sources Using Sources?

"How are Your Sources Using Sources" was written by Ryan Dippre, University of California, Santa Barbara

 

A particular difficulty that novice writers have is sticking their noses into the seemingly eternal conversation of their fields.  Ideas in a field seem to always be running beyond our grasp, expanding, twisting, and moving with the words of many faceless authors.  Even worse, these faceless authors seem to be in cahoots with one another: they reference, in passing, extremely complex ideas in what are sometimes very subtle ways, and understanding such writing—let alone writing a response to it—is very difficult. 

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“GET IT IN WRITING”: New Survey Reveals Paradoxes About Workplace Writers

"GET IT IN WRITING" was written by Wilma Davidson and Thorold (Tod) Roberts, The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee

©2014, All Rights Reserved.

How relevant are strong writing skills on the job? What can college students do -- in and outside the classroom -- to become better writers? And what can aspiring professional and technical writers do to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace?

A quick Google search reveals several helpful references on this topic, including these:

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Writing a Short Story

By: Julie Nichols 

We tell stories every day of our lives. “What did you do last week?” “What happened with your cousin and that girlfriend of his?” “How did your mom break her leg?” –the answers to these, and a million similar questions that make up our everyday conversations, are stories, narratives with a beginning, middle, and end. Usually there’s some kind of static situation at the beginning; then complications happen, with unexpected turns for the better or worse, so that things as they were at the beginning more or less fall apart. But then, because of someone’s ingenuity or good (or bad) luck, everything refashions itself into a brand new state of being, one we might never have imagined. Often it’s in some way the reverse of the state of things at the beginning.

(from http://esl.culips.com/2010/10/the-art-of-telling-stories-in-english/)

 The principal difference between our chatty, enthusiastic narratives in response to everyday questions and a fine written short story lies in the shaping.

Short stories, or fictional prose, can vary in length from the six-word short story (Hemingway’s famous “For sale: baby shoes, never worn” tells a complete and poignant tale) to upwards of 20,000 words. Many literary magazines ask for somewhere between three and five thousand words. So part of the joy and challenge of writing a fine short story is knowing what to leave out without leaving out too much.  If “show, don’t tell” and “provide sensory detail” are fundamental tenets of good short story writing, “select, select, select” is their emphatic caveat.

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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)..."

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