Welcome. We are a community of writers, teachers, and researchers who are passionate about helping people realize their potential as writers, collaborators, researchers, and thinkers (About).

Collaboration

Master the interpersonal competencies prized by employers. Work productively with others: co-authoring, goal setting, task coordination, conflict resolution, performance monitoring, document critique, peer review.

Read more...

Composition

Be strategic and creative about how you manage writing tasks. Work productively with others. Experience the generative power of language. Use writing to advance your thinking and knowledge.

Read more...

Design

Strategically use the elements of visual rhetoric (e.g., images, color, shape, document design, and typography) to interpret and evaluate texts (visual literacy); to think and create (visual learning); and to communicate (visual rhetoric).

Read more...

Editing

Earn the respect of your readers (bosses, clients, teachers). Use stylistic and rhetorical principles to edit texts for concision, clarity, flow, and audience. Identify and eradicate errors of diction, grammar, mechanics.

Read more...

Genre

Write strategically and more successfully:

  • Reduce ambiguity and jumpstart composing by learning how to analyze how others have written about similar rhetorical situations.
  • Understand the role of genre as a classification scheme for texts, a method of invention, a trait of discourse communities, and a tool people use to respond strategically to recurring situations.
  • Understand the conventions and values undergirding academic, business, scientific, and literary genres.
Read more...

Information Literacy

Avoid being duped. Learn to be a critical consumer and producer of information. Critically evaluate information (e.g, distinguish fake news from real news). Be aware of ethical and unethical uses of information, including plagiarism. Strategically weave sources into your text without undermining your purpose, voice or tone.

Read more...

Invention

Realize your potential to innovate, to be creative, and to disrupt the status quo. Engage in drafting (e.g., freewriting) and invention heuristics (e.g., Burke’s Pentad). Understand the importance of preliminary research and writing in response to sources.

Read more...

Mindset

Mindset @ Writing Commons puts the spotlight on the psyche of the writer. Learn about the role of the writer’s emotions, attitudes, personality, behaviors/work ethic, and strategic planning on writing development and writing processes.

Explore the importance of your mindset to your success as a writer and speaker.  Affirm and invest in yourself; embrace your potential; and assume responsibility over your learning and development as a writer. Master the intrapersonal competencies prized by employers. Adopt a growth mindset, intellectual openness, metacognition and self-regulation, professionalism and work ethic, and resilience.

Read more...

Organization

Understand the role of organization as a mode of reasoning (deductive and inductive). Enhance the logical development of your ideas by focusing on organizational structure—schemas—across whole texts as well as sections of texts, paragraphs, sentences, and words.

Read more...

Research

Solve problems at work, school, and in your personal life. Learn the rules of the road for conducting textual research and empirical research methods. Explore the epistemological assumptions that inform qualitative, quantitative, mixed, and textual research methods.

Read more...

Revision

Develop substantive prose by engaging in sustained efforts at revision. Understand the importance of rhetoric, invention, information literacy, and style to revision. Write more effectively by being strategic about how you revise documents. Prioritize revision at the global, rhetorical level.

Read more...

Rhetoric

Better understand why people say what they say and do what they do. Learn to critically analyze rhetorical situations and engage in rhetorical reasoning. Write and speak more effectively by developing substantive content that is responsive to your rhetorical situation. Develop point of view, rhetorical appeals, stance, persona, tone, voice, and style in response to your rhetorical situation.

Read more...

Style

Strategically engage in the language practices of effective communicators:substantive prose, concision, clarity, flow, and unity. Distinguish between topic-focused, audience-focused, and rhetor-focused styles. Understand diction, grammar, and mechanics. Replace vague language with concrete, sensory, figurative language.

Read more...

Writing Studies

Do a deep dive into the research and theory that informs Writing Commons. Learn to better manage writing tasks by familiarizing yourself with research on composing processes, assessment, grading, and learning theory. Become less rigid about how you develop ideas, collaborate with others, research claims, and publish in multiple media.

Read more...

Writing with Sources

Learn to summarize, paraphrase, and cite sources. Weave others’ ideas and words into your texts in ways that support your thesis/research question, information, rhetorical stance.

Read more...