A free, comprehensive, peer-reviewed, award-winning Open Text for students and faculty in college-level courses that require writing and research.

Joe Moxley, Founder, WritingCommons.org

Joe Moxley

Founder
WritingCommons.org

Dear Colleagues and Students,

At Writing Commons, we are happy with the overall success of our project. Since 2011, when we launched at WritingCommons.org, we have hosted 6,315,882 users who have reviewed over 11 million pages. We are thrilled that students and faculty find our site to be helpful. Our ongoing mission is to be the best writing textbook possible. We also happen to be free. While we cannot perhaps claim yet that we are the best possible textbook for technical writing or creative writing courses, we are working on that.

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Experiment with these strategies to use your editing time more productively.

Once you believe a draft conveys the basic information you want your readers to understand, you can begin attacking it at the sentence level. After working hard to develop the substance of a message, you may be weary of it and eager to turn it over to your instructor. If possible, set the draft aside and work on another assignment before trying to edit it.

Tips to Evaluate Your Work at the Sentence Level

The following techniques can help you critically evaluate your document at the sentence level:

  1. Don't try to copyedit a document all at once. Instead, alternate editing with other activities. For example, try editing after you first wake up, then after lunch, and then before dinner. Are you surprised that you can keep finding ways to improve the document?
  2. There are three strategies you can use to help ignore the content of your message and concentrate solely on grammatical, mechanical, and formatting errors:
    • Try reading your document sentence by sentence backwards
    • Place sheets of paper above and below each sentence in the document as you read through it
    • Place slashes between each sentence and then evaluate each one separately
  3. If you are using a personal computer, try printing the document with a different font, such as size 14 or size 10 point instead of the normal size 12.
  4. Look for mistakes to cluster. When you find one error in paragraph seven, for example, carefully examine the surrounding sentences to see if you had a lapse of concentration when you wrote and copyedited that section.
  5. Look for errors that you often make, such as sentence fragments or subject-verb agreement.
Cassandra Branham, Editor-in-Chief WritingCommons.org

Cassandra Branham

Editor-in-Chief
WritingCommons.org

Dear Colleagues and Students,

Welcome to Writing Commons, an open-education resource for instructors and students of writing across the disciplines. Our mission is to provide a high-quality, cost free resource to support students in the development of writing, research, and critical thinking practices.

This summer, we have been working on a site redesign in an effort to increase the usability of our site for both instructors and students. Our most significant change has been the inclusion of additional categories and subcategories to create a more intuitive hierarchy within the site.

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