We are an international community of writers, teachers, and researchers who are passionate about helping you realize your potential:
- Review Editors,
- Advisory Board, and
- Author Bios.
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.
We are advocates of Open Education Resources. We think educational materials should be freely available.
Writing Commons uses a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
By this license, you are free to Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format under the following terms:
- Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
- NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
Ownership and Publisher
Writing Commons is owned and published by My Reviewers LLC.
Since 2008, we have had over 9 million people use our site to help them with their writing goals. We are assigned as required reading in a range of courses, including composition, business, STEM/Technical Writing, and creative writing courses. We are used by teachers and students in high schools, colleges, universities, and law schools. And we are referenced by people who are working on the job.
Screenshot Date: 3/19
Editor-in-Chief: Cassandra Branham, Embry Riddle University
Chief Technology Officer: Alston Chapman
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 represented a major evolution in our project. We rejected the single-author model, opened the project to peer production, and expanded its scope.
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 was one of the more successful OER (open-education resources) of its time. We 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.
As writers, however, we could see room for improvement.
Improved Navigation. From Google Analytics, we noted our readers tended to sweep into the site via a Google search, grab the content they were looking for, and quickly move along. Perhaps this is inevitable. People are in a hurry. Still, we wondered if we could improve the navigation of the site so when readers jumped aboard they could more easily find additional resources.
21st Century Literacies. Additionally, we wanted to embrace ways cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal competencies contribute to success in school, work, and life (see 21st Century Literacies). We especially wanted to further explore the psychology of writing, addressing grit, self-efficacy, and self reflection (see Mindset).
Most prosaically, we wanted to move away from Joomla, the software environment we were using to publish the third edition. Now, to improve the look and feel of our site, we have and to Word Press.
The fourth edition of Writing Commons was published in January of 2020. Moving forward, we hope to continue improving the site.