unCommon News (June 2015)
unCommon News (June, 2015)
A crowd-powered newsletter for a writing-centered community
During the 2015 Computers and Writing Conference, we were happy to confer the Aaron Swartz Award for Best Webtext published at Writing Commons during 2014 to Maggie Melo (University of Arizona). Since publishing her work with us last July, Maggie's webtext, Creating 'Viral' Impressions: Composing Infographics for the Classroom and Work Space, has been read by over 2,400 students and instructors. Maggie's webtext received 119 votes at the public online poll, and her webtext was the favorite of our editorial board. Congratulations, Maggie.
During May our readership continued growing at an excellent pace. May 2015 had 222,323 total visitor sessions in contrast to last year's 99,443—a 123% increase in readership. Our top day was 5/4/15, when we received 11,545 readers. When filtering viewers by city, the top ten cities were New York, L.A., New Delhi, Houston, Melbourne, Chicago, Sydney, Quezon City, San Diego, and London.
Please see the call for papers below for needed webtexts in the domain of Professional and Technical Writing. Given we aspire to be the best writing textbook possible (not just the most comprehensive free textbook available for writers), we are always eager to review webtexts in composition, creative writing, professional writing, legal writing, and communication. In terms of the power of Writing Commons to bring a large readership to your work, consider Jenna Pack's essay, Using First Person in an Academic Essay: When is It Okay?, has now received over 77,000 reads by students and instructors.
Publisher, Writing Commons
Maggie Melo on receiving the 2nd annual Aaron Swartz Best Webtext Award for
Maggie is a PhD student in the Rhetoric, Composition, and Teaching of English program at the University of Arizona. Her research focuses on prosumer cultures and rhetorics in web 2.0 environments, critical digital pedagogy, and the digital humanities.
Many thanks to Daniel Ruefman for organizing Computers and Writing. It was wonderful seeing members of the Writing Commons staff there as well, including Stephanie Hedge, Jack Hennes, Bonnie Kyburz, Kyle Larson, Jason Tham, and Janice Walker. Many thanks to Abigail Grant Scheg for her help in coordinating the giving of this award at Computers and Writing as well.
Establishing Your Professional Self: Resume Writing. Written by Cassandra Branham and Megan McIntyre, this piece explores the rhetorical nature of a commonly misunderstood and highly significant genre in resumes. Effective resumes are anything but pre-formed templates; resumes are arguments that you as a potential employee are a perfect fit for an organization. Branham and McIntyre take the reader from the moment you read a job ad to the draft, outlining key questions and considerations for all authors to consider as they try and achieve their goal of crafting the perfect resume.I am excited to announce the latest contribution to the Business Writing section of Writing Commons:
Call for Submissions: Professional and Technical Communication
Writing Commons is seeking submissions in the field of Professional and Technical Communication. While we welcome submissions in all areas of professional and technical communication, we are actively seeking submission on the following topics:
- writing a standard business letter
- data visualizations (understanding, creating, using)
- ethical use of visuals
- policies and procedures
- white papers
- proposals (and the differences between proposals and reports)
- background reports
- recommendation reports
- press releases
- industry-specific information for writing resumes in engineering, business, and health care
Invitation to Participate: Pilot My Reviewers
We invite you to join an international team of writing faculty to help us develop a new generation of tools for writers. You can pilot a course or even an entire writing program at https://myreviewers.com/start.
My Reviewers <https://myreviewers.com>, aims to improve students’ writing, critical thinking, and collaborative competencies by
- helping instructors and students provide more useful, explicit feedback on student writing
- facilitating peer-reviews and team-projects
- enabling instructors and writing program administrators to make evidence-based curriculum changes
- identifying and subsequently supporting students at risk, thereby advancing retention
My Reviewers enables instructors and students to mark up texts using .pdf markup tools. Instructors and students can place Community Comments (a library of comments constituting a complete English handbook in article/video/and exercise formats) on student papers. Subsequently, students can select the hyperlink to view an article or a video about a comment and check their comprehension. Faculty can establish peer reviews and team projects. My Reviewers aggregates sticky comments, Community Comments, rubric scores, and rubric comments on one page, enabling users at a glance to compare comments across reviewers. Administrators can assign multiple faculty to review documents and download statistics regarding inter-rater reliability in spreadsheets. Faculty, students, and administrators can consult onboard learning analytics that identify patterns across drafts, projects, sections, and courses.
Between the spring 2009 and end of the fall 2015 semesters, approximately 500 instructors have used My Reviewers to provide 115,118 reviews of documents,using an assortment of rubrics, Community Comments, and sticky notes. In turn, students have conducted 118,919 peer reviews and posted 5,962 revision plans.
Visit us at our Facebook page. View newsfeeds regarding Writing Commons and updates about open education. Don't forget to connect with Writing Commons on Twitter using @writingcommons and #writingcommons. Writing Commons' tweets consist of answers to students' most common writing questions, such as "What's a paragraph supposed to have?" and "What's a Rogerian argument?" Each tweet is hyperlinked to our Writing Commons blog where Writing Commons staff members provide succinct, accessible answers and helpful examples.
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