We are an international community of writers, teachers, and researchers who are passionate about helping writers realize their potential.
We represent a range of academic disciplines in higher education (e.g., Communication, Composition Studies, Computers and Composition, Creative Writing, English Literature, Linguistics, Rhetoric, Technical Writing, and Writing Studies.)
Our mission at Writing Commons is to help people communicate more effectively in school and work contexts.
Ownership and Publisher
Writing Commons is owned and published by My Reviewers LLC.
Between 2012 and 2019, 9,198,1957 users consulted 16,698,704 pages at Writing Commons, reading 1.52 pages/session. 70% of our users were from the United States.
Writing Commons is used by both professionals in workplace contexts and students in undergraduate composition, business, STEM/Technical Writing, and creative writing courses.
Screenshot Date: 12/31/19
Chief Technology Officer: Alston Chapman
Editor-in-Chief: Cassandra Branham, Embry Riddle University
Founder and Publisher: Joseph M. Moxley
The first edition of Writing Commons was published in 2003 by Pearson Education under the title College Writing Online. This edition was awarded the 2003 Distinguished Book Award from Computers and Composition.
In 2008, after Pearson returned copyright, the second edition was published as College Writing Online at http://collegewriting.org. The first two editions targeted the needs of students in college composition courses.
The third edition was published between 2012 and 2019 at http://writingcommons.org. This edition opened the project to peer production. An Advisory Board and Editorial Community peer reviewed article submissions.
Two goals informed the 4th edition:
- Improve Navigation
- Update Content
As discussed above, we were happy 9 million users checked out the 3rd edition generated. However, we were troubled by the high bounce rate (80%) and average session duration (1:20). To improve upon the user experience, we
- developed a taxonomy to categorize articles (e.g., Collaboration, Editing, Genre, Information Literacy, Invention, Mindset, Organization, Research, Rhetoric, Revision, and Style.)
- invoked the conventions of an encyclopedia to organize articles alphabetically under major sections.
- developed article stubs (about 200) to introduce writing topics;
- enhanced the site design to empower users to find the information they needed; and
- revised menus.
Our thanks to Joe Opiela for serving as our editor for the first iteration of this text, which was published by Pearson Education.
We could not have developed the third edition without the wise counsel of our advisory board: Linda Adler-Kassner, University of California, Santa Barbara; James P. Gee, Arizona State University; Graeme Harper, Oakland University; Susan Lang, The Ohio State University; Charlie Lowe, Grand Valley State University; MC Morgan, Bemidji State University; Mike Palmquist, Colorado State University; Alex Reid, SUNY at Buffalo; Howard Rheingold, Stanford University; Shirley Rose, Arizona State University; Kristin Sainani, Stanford School of Medicine; George Siemens, Athabasca University; Taku Sugimoto, Chiba Institute of Technology; Gregory L. Ulmer, University of Florida; Janice Walker, Georgia Southern University; Martin Weller, Open University; Bronwyn T. Williams, University of Louisville.
Quentin Vieregge, UW-Eau Claire, led the effort to develop the third edition. Under Quentin’s leadership we focused more broadly on the needs of students in professional and technical writing courses. As Editor-in-Chief until 2018, Quentin oversaw the editorial process, working with our review editors to conduct blind reviews of hundreds of essays.
We are deeply indebted to our review editors of the third edition for their professional service, including E. Jonathan Arnett, Kennesaw State University; Matt Barton, St. Cloud State University; Matt Balk, Ball State University; William Carney, Cameron University; Joel Friederich, University of Wisconsin; Tamara Girardi, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Andrea Greenbaum, Barry University; Heidi Skurat Harris, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Stephanie Hedge, SUNY Potsdam; Mitchell Ray James, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Christopher Justice, The University of Baltimore; Amy C. Kimme Hea, University of Arizona; bonnie lenore kyburz, Lewis University; Jennifer Lee Novotney, MMI Preparatory School; Angela Eward-Mangione, Hillsborough Community College; Jennifer Marlow, College of Saint Rose; Patricia Portanova, Northern Essex Community College; Daisy Pignetti, University of Wisconsin-Stout; Abigail Scheg, Elizabeth City State University; Andrea Scott, Pitzer College; Lars Söderlund, Wright State University; Todd Taylor, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill; Ryan Weber, University of Alabama-Huntsville, Susan Youngblood, Auburn University
Thanks to the hard work of our review editors and advisory committee, the third edition doubled the size of Writing Commons, expanding from about 700 articles to 1400 articles. We peer reviewed many submissions and published original works from university and college faculty related to fiction, creative nonfiction, business writing, scientific writing, and technical writing. Over 9 million users accessed Writing Commons between 2012 and 2019. We were used by the first English composition MOOCs, sponsored by the Gates Foundation, Duke University, Georgia Tech, and the Ohio State University.
- Janice Walker for her ongoing consultanship regarding the organization of our encyclopedia.
- Jenifer Paquette for her ongoing leadership on the Style sections.
- Jennifer Yirinec for her help with the conversion of texts from Joomla to WordPress.