Please help us help others communicate more effectively in home, school, and work contexts. Join us as editors and writers. Let us know what we’re doing right and what you’d like us to do.
We invite you to join our community as
Be a Critic
We sincerely welcome criticism. Please share your suggestions for improving Writing Commons:
- Let us know if you notice any problems with existing articles
- Let us hear your ideas for new ways to help students and writers in workplace contexts
- Help us see problems with our site navigation and topic organization.
Be an Editor
We’re not gonna lie: we think some of our articles are pretty damned good—way better than you can get anywhere else, including stodgy textbooks that sell for $100/copy. That said, we know some of our articles need work–revision, editing, and a deeper grounding in research. We need people who can be official editors for Writing Commons.
If you’re willing to mentor writers who submit good pitches, please let us know.
Be a Writer
Most of our articles have been written by professors and doctoral students in Writing Studies, Technical Writing, English Literature, Linguistics, and Rhetoric. However, you don’t have to be a professor to publish with us. You just have to write something smart, something that will help our readers. Prior to pitching an article to us, please review what we’ve already published.
We welcome essays that revise or replace existing articles:
Some of our existing articles are a bit simplistic: they tell readers what to do without explaining why—the theory and research supporting a recommended practice. Moving forward, we hope to better model academic writing and critical thinking by citing sources and providing links to additional resources.
We welcome essays on entirely new topics:
We welcome original essays on any topic of concern for writers. When pitching an article, we ask that you are mindful about where it fits within our organizational scheme:
Call for Articles
We aim to be responsive to changes in literacy practices. These are, after all, exciting times for writers. Revolution is afoot. Writing spaces are changing, evolving. The essay is losing ground to the blog, video, and podcast. Writing is becoming more visual, interactive, dynamic. In response, we need to work with one another to imagine new ways of composing in new media and emerging digital writing spaces.
As much as we can, we hope to practice what we preach. We try to be as readable and interesting as possible. In general, the articles begin with definitions of key terms. For readers who want a bit more, we try
- to layer content—i.e., to use links to empower the reader to go deeper, if they so wish, into research and theory
- to show associations among ideas. For instance, our readers can link out to rhetorical analysis when reading about invention heuristics, organizational schema & logical reasoning, or rhetorical reasoning.
We’ve added Writing Studies with a little trepidation: we realize this section may be a bit too technical for some students. Still, we are embarking on this journey because we do believe textbooks and encyclopedias on writing should model scholarly traditions—particularly the convention to site sources and trace the evolution of ideas over time. We also believe this approach will be helpful to teachers who hold Ph.Ds outside of Writing Studies.
We especially welcome submissions from our colleagues across the disciplines:
- Cognitive Psychology,
- Critical Race Studies
- Disability Studies
- Human Development (cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal competencies);
- Literacy (Theory & Practice);
- Writing Pedagogy
- Neurology & Writing.
Suggestions for Contributors
Prior to pitching an article idea, we encourage you to take a moment to learn about Writing Commons. Please check out whether we already have an article on a topic. Also, please look for ways you can link to existing information at Writing Commons that relates to your article.
Most importantly, please consider our audiences (see discussion below).
Writing Commons is used by both professionals in workplace contexts and students in undergraduate composition, business, STEM/Technical Writing, and creative writing courses. About 30% of our traffic resides in the U.S.
Screenshot Date: 12/31/19
|Our primary audience is undergraduate students in writing courses in the U.S., particularly undergraduate courses in academic, business, and technical writing courses.||College & University Faculty. (About 70% of users reside in the U.S.)||About one third of our audience is comprised of independent scholars and professionals.|
Before beginning your project, we encourage you to submit a brief proposal to
Dr. Sandy Branham, Editor-in-Chief
Submissions should be sent in .doc or .docx files. You can include videos or images to supplement the text; please submit video links or .mp4s, and all images as .jpeg or .png. You can include hyperlinks to other sources that might be useful for students, including, but not limited to, other Writing Commons articles.
For citation, we prefer MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (8th ed.) However, given our efforts to be interdisciplinary, we accept other citation systems, especially APA.
- should be saved as a .doc or .docx file with any images saved as .jpeg or .png format. Please name files according to the following conventions: “Title of webtext.”
- should be 750-1000 words in length
- should be free of internal references to the author’s identity.
- should include a brief cover letter introducing your webtext and its title; you might use this letter to voice any concerns/questions you have about the text.
If you are submitting podcasts, videos, or composing a multi-page hyperlinked text (which we strongly encourage), please e-mail Cassandra Branham (firstname.lastname@example.org) directly for specific directions.
Once we receive your article and confirm it matches our needs, we will begin the peer-review process. Articles will be reviewed by at least two members of the staff, review editors, or editorial board. You will then receive our decision to publish as is, publish with revisions, or reject.
Because webtexts are more concise than traditional academic essays, we endeavor to have a quick turn-around time. From initial submission to notification of the submission’s status, please allow approximately four weeks.
Prior to publication, following peer review, authors are required to complete our Publishing Agreement. In brief, writers may choose traditional copyright or Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).