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


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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What types of questions do writers need to ask themselves and reflect upon to create stronger content?

  1. What assumptions about writing and research do you hold that intrude on regular writing? For example, do you assume that you first need to do the research and then the writing? Are you uncomfortable writing without having thoroughly completed the research?
  2. What social supports can you establish to promote regular writing? Can you arrange, for example, to discuss ideas for writing projects with informed friends? Do the people you live with respect your need for quiet time when developing projects? Do you know people who can provide you with encouragement when you are feeling discourage about the worthiness or potential of an idea?
  3. What strategies can you employ to help you accomplish your writing goals? For example, can you demystify the composing process, overcome negative thoughts, structure your time differently, engage in more (or less prewriting), separate editing from revising, and spend more time revising documents?
  4. How would you describe your typical writing voice, persona, or style? When you sit down to write a research report, what sort of style do you hope to present?
    • The biggest editorial problem that readers have identified with my work...
    • The problems that I want to work on are...
    • Readers always tell me I should...
  5. What changes can you make in your environment that will help you achieve your writing goals? For example, can you find a way to minimize distractions, or is your writing environment too quiet for you? Do you need a better light or a software upgrade?
  6. What self-talk can you identify that intrudes on your productivity? For example, does a small voice within you whisper that your ideas lack originality or that the instructor or editor will dislike your manuscript? Do you tell yourself that you lack the time or ability necessary to get the work done?
  7. What myths about writing or scholarly research do you hold that intrude on regular writing? What changes in how you write will help you achieve your writing goals?
    How has rejection in the past influenced your perception of yourself as a writer? How has the fear of rejection influenced what you write about?
  8. In what ways do you attempt to work with your intuition when writing? If a seemingly unrelated thought occurs to you when you are writing, do you tend to ignore the thought or do you pursue it and question how and if it relates, after all, to your subject?
Cassandra Branham, Editor-in-Chief WritingCommons.org

Cassandra Branham


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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