The Aaron Swartz Best Webtext Award 2014

Dear Colleagues,

AARON2014Aaron Swartz passionately believed that academic research should be freely shared as opposed to locked behind paywalls. As a free, open-education home for writers, we are inspired by the idea of the commons, the notion that crowds of people can share their creative talents without even knowing one another. While we are slightly more centralized than a true commons-based project, as Yochai Benkler envisaged the concept back in 2002, we are nonetheless a globally distributed and diverse group of faculty teaching a vast array of courses and writing about a variety of topics.

As a peer-produced, open-education project, Writing Commons seeks to celebrate the works of its authors while also recognizing the value of open-access research and scholarship. We annually award The Aaron Swartz Award for Best Web Text in recognition of Aaron’s dedication to open education. This distinguished award, which was first conferred to Andrea Scott (Pitzer College) for Formulating a Thesis in 2013, is given in Aaron Swartz’s name to celebrate his contributions to open education and open access.

Please complete our poll to vote for the webtext you believe is most deserving for this distinguished award. The webtexts with the top 10 number of votes will be considered finalists, and these finalists will be reviewed by the Writing Commons Editorial Board and Review Board.


  1. Dances with Dialogue: The Difficulty of Speaking by David Kranes
  2. Why Meet with a Writing Tutor?  by Sarah Pittock

  3. Power in the “Black Stuff by Laura L. Beadling

  4. Synthesis Notes: Working With Sources To Create a First Draft by Erika Szymanski

  5. An Interview With Timons Esaias by Tamara Girardi

  6. Understanding URLs by Christine Photinos

  7. Scientific Memos by Lee Ann Hodges

  8. Creating “Viral” Impressions: Composing Infographics for the Classroom and Work Space by Maggie Melo

  9. LinkedIn: Are You Making the Key Connections? by Laura Palmer

  10. Professional and Technical Communication: An Overview by Julie Gerdes

  11. Annotated List of Useful Professional and Technical Communication Resources by Rachel Tanski

  12. Practicing Intercultural Communication by Laura Ewing

  13. Professional and Technical Writing Processes: Planning by Angela Eward-Mangione

  14. Professional and Technical Writing Processes: Composing by Angela Eward-Mangione

  15. You-Centered Business Style by Angela Eward-Mangione

  16. Writing a Short Story by Julie Nichols

  17. How are Your Sources Using Sources? by Ryan Dippre

  18. Get in Writing: New Survey Reveals Paradoxes About Workplace Writers by Wilma Davidson and Tod Roberts

  19. Audience Analysis: Primary, Secondary, and Hidden Audiences by Deedra Hickman

  20. Taking Control: Managing Your Online Identity for the Job Search by Daniel Ruefman 

  21. Four Basic Principles in Writing Fiction by Riley H. Welcker 

  22. Preparing Job Materials: Reading Job Ads by Megan McIntyre and Cassandra Branham 

  23. Writing a Cover Letter by Megan McIntyre and Cassandra Branham 





Related Resources