Writing Resources

The following are some of the resources I use to create my courses. Since I am a writing teacher by profession, the resources below provide more writing-based resources than instructional resources across the board.

Screencast-o-matic:This is a great tool for recording lectures online. It provides tools for basic edits and screen capturing one’s presentation.You can store videos on their site or on Youtube. It is free for up to 15 mins, but for recordings longer than that one will need to get a subscription.

OER Commons: OER Commons is a freely accessible online library that allows teachers and others to search and discover open educational resources and other freely available instructional materials. Part of the wider move to make higher education more accessible to all, it provides an excellent resource to learn the issues of educational resources and how teachers can participate in creating a common set of instructional materials and tools available to all.

Libretexts: This is a large open access OER library of textsbooks. It provides resources on a huge range of disciplines and fields. It also provides the user the ability to modify and create their own textbook, which mixes and matches the different parts of different books (though the texts and identifying marks on the texts might make a clear unified textbook design impractical.)

Open Stax: OpenStax, another well resourced library, has created peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks, which are available in free digital formats and for a low cost in print. Most books are also available in Kindle versions on Amazon.com and in the iBooks Store.

CWPA Resources: This is the site for the multiple statements by Council of Writing Program Administrators and words of advice by experienced figures in the field. It is particular useful for writing program administrators and course designings. It can also provide considered, professional statements that can be included in syllabi to speak to students or in arguments to administrators.

WAC Clearinghouse Resources: The largest resource for all things college writing and composition. It provides both research and pedagogical resources. Anything and everything that has to do with the academic field of Writing Studies can be found on this site. It also includes interesting academic monographs on writing theory, some of which are aimed at general audiences.

Writing Spaces: It is a book series containing peer-reviewed collections of essays—all composed by teachers for students—with each volume freely available for download under a Creative Commons license.

Owl Excelsior: Excelsior College Online Writing Lab (OWL), an award-winning open education resource offering multimedia support for writing and reading. It provides a comprehensive list of resources for teaching writing and interactive tools to help with reading instruction.

Owl Purdue: The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University, the original writing resource repository, continues to be a valuable site of writing resources and instructional materials. It also includes a Youtube webseries, which can be found on OWLPurdue.

The Electric Typewriter: The mother of all essay repositories. There is simply the best place to start if you want to look for non-fiction essays to assign your students. The essays listed on this website are curated in terms of topics and authors, including lists on some of the greatest modern essayists of all time. It is not exactly open source, but can be used effectively within a “fair-use” framework if you are smart about it.

Open Culture: Open source educational resource sites. It includes great lectures and texts by some of the most famous thinkers around. It is completely licensed under creative commons and it can be provided to students free and online. It includes courses on various topics as well, which can be adapted easily.

YouTube: There is everything on this site, as most users already know. However, the “do-it-yourself skills culture” that is fostered on this site also provides excellent resources to illustrate things to students as well as learn new techniques. Youtube is also important for consideration because it is the premier platform for the Video Essay, the newest genre in critical thinking and communication.

Wikipedia: As often as this source is looked at with suspicion, it continues to be the most pragmatic model we have for creating acceptable knowledge on the internet. It’s process of peer reviewing and editorial collectives represents the ideals of “knowledge community.” Ways to make use of Wikipedia in the classroom is shown in this great essay: “Wikipedia is Good for You” by James Purdy.

Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments: It is a biannual, refereed online journal that publishes academic writing assignments accompanied by reflective essays. It assignments directed at both undergraduate and graduate students from all academic disciplines. It is an open-access journal, with all articles freely available to all readers.

Helen Sword’s Site: Helen Sword is one of the best experts on academic writing out there who exists both within the field and outside the field. Her book, Stylish Academic Writing, is probably the one book I would first recommend to anyone who wants to communicate in academic contexts – from professors to graduate students to advanced undergraduates. Her site has a great deal of information to start on all things on writing as knowledge communication.

The Write Center: This organization researches academic writing in middle and high school.  Hosted by the University of California, Irvine, their site hosts evidence-based practices learned in the English language arts classrooms. They have a solid repository or resources and activities that can be used for free. Their blog is also a good place to get some ideas about what people are doing in various places.

National Census of Writing: This seeks to provide a data-based landscape of writing instruction at two- and four-year public and not-for-profit institutions of higher education in the United States. It includes empirical data on most of the writing programs in the US. It is an open-access database, which allows individuals to gather national data on pressing local questions. The database is searchable by type of institution, institutional size, geographical location, and, when we have consent, by the name of the institution.

Eli Review: This propitiatory resources focuses on improving pedagogy and critical thinking skills through feedback activities. It provides substantial resources and consulting services to improve feedback skills for readers across a range of contexts. It’s resources can also be incorporated into classrooms and LMSs easily.

Meaningful Writing Project: This research project provides useful perspectives and information on the value of meaningfulness for undergraduate writers. It reinforces the fact that students need to think what they are learning is meaningful and applicable in a way for them. This has several testimonials from students.

Wayfinding Project: This research examines students perspectives on writing and its use in their lives post graduation. It uses the metaphor of wayfinding, a concept from anthropology, to frame how students use the tool of writing in their careers. The point out that it is about encountering unexpected situations, navigating careers and personal paths, and seeing beyond the boundaries of given situations.

Writing Program Census: This is a site that includes the results of writing programs across the US. It breaks it down in terms of types of institutions. It includes data from 623 of the 1315 four-year institutions invited to participate and from 104 of the 829 two-year institutions.

Writing Across the Lifespan Project: This collaboration develops a robust, multidimensional understanding of how writing develops from cradle to grave. The site includes conference presentations, lifespan-focused conferences, joint research projects, and publications, we hope to establish a wide-ranging, ongoing conversation about how writing transforms and is transformed by writers as they engage in literate action throughout their lives.

If there are glaring gaps in this list of pedagogical resources, please let me know at ssrabbi@gmail.com. I am always eager to learn about new and useful teaching resources as it is my day-job.