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

How to use Writing Commons?

Welcome to Writing Commons, the open-education home for writers. Writing Commons helps students improve their writing, critical thinking, and information literacy. Founded in 2008 by Joseph M. Moxley, Writing Commons is a viable alternative to expensive writing textbooks. Faculty may assign Writing Commons for their compositionbusinesstechnical, and creative writing courses. 

Writing Commons houses seven main sections: Information Literacy | Research Methods & Methodologies | Writing Processes | Collaboration | Genres | New Media | Style 

The two best ways to navigate through Writing Commons are using the top menu navigation, called Open Text, or the left-hand navigation menu system.  


Top Trending Webtexts

Power in the “Black Stuff”

wordsPower in the “Black Stuff” was written by Laura L. Beadling 

Concision—saying more with less—is an undervalued but critical writing skill, especially when writing a screenplay.  Part of the reason that concision is so undervalued is that it seems easy but is actually quite difficult and takes skill, intellectual effort and ruthlessness (as a well-known bit of writing advice goes, you must “kill all your darlings”).

If you can eliminate a sentence, a phrase, or even a few words, you probably should.  This is especially true in a screenplay, which is a space-bound genre; screenplays typically run approximately 90-120 pages because 1 screenplay page is roughly equal to 1 minute of screen time and most movies run between 90 minutes and two hours.  You don’t want to waste your precious space because you’re being needlessly long-winded! 


Why Meet with a Writing Tutor?

"Why Meet with a Writing Tutor?" was written by Sarah Pittock, PhD, of Stanford University 

You may think of writing as a lonely activity, something to work at in a hushed, half-lit library carrel.  Or you may think of writing merely as a matter of correctness, of getting all the commas in just the right places.  Or you may suffer from writing anxiety and feel unable to produce the first word, let alone the first page.  These writing challenges, and many others, can be addressed in a meeting with a writing tutor.  Tutoring has the reputation of being remedial, of serving students with limited writing experience.  But the writing tutorial can benefit all writers—freshman, graduate, or faculty—and represents a significant learning opportunity. 


Formatting the Title Page (APA)


As the first major section of the document, the title page appears at the top of the first page.


The title page is comprised of a few key elements:

  • Running head (or shortened title) and label
  • Page number
  • Full title of the paper
  • Author byline: first name(s), middle initial(s), and last name(s)
  • Affiliated Institution(s) or Organization(s)
  • Author note (optional)


References Page Template (APA)

Learn how to format the References page of your paper in APA style.

APA References Page Template


Photos on this page courtesy of University of Pennsylvania, University Communications.

2013 Aaron Swartz Best Webtext Award

The Aaron Swartz Best Webtext Award 2013

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