essays

Submit a Proposal for Writing Spaces

Jane Park, March 2nd, 2009

The transition from high school to college can be tough, especially when it comes to writing. Most first year college students are required to take introductory classes on writing, where they purchase mandatory writing textbooks at exorbitant prices, only to crack ‘em open once before delegating them to dusty corners of dorm rooms.

Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing is a new initiative that aims to offer an alternative to this situation. From their about page:

Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing is a new 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. The Writing Spaces’ mission is to build a library of quality open access texts for the writing classroom as an alternative to costly textbooks.

Each series collection will contain engaging essays from different writing teachers in the field and will explore important topics about writing in a manner and style accessible both to teachers and students. While the first volume will focus on instructional texts for first year composition, future editions may feature texts for writing in the disciplines and professional writing classrooms. Additionally, each collection will be supplemented by classroom activities and exercises which illustrate and implement the ideas discussed by the authors.

Because the essays are Creative Commons licensed, PDF electronic versions of each series edition and each individual essay can be downloaded from this website. Teachers can freely share these texts with other teachers or prepare printed course packs without need for copyright clearance. For those who would like professionally printed copies for their classes, printed versions of each series edition will be available for purchase through Parlor Press.

Furthermore, Writing Spaces puts each essay through a peer-review process, and all authors retain copyright for their vetted work via whichever Creative Commons license they choose. Though the default license is CC BY-NC-ND, authors can choose to publish their essay via a license better suited to educational needs, such as CC BY, which allows the necessary permissions to fully share a work online via revision, remix, and redistribution. Read more and submit a proposal! The deadline is April 10, 2009, and accepted proposals will be fleshed out (by you) into full essays to be published in January of next year.

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Publius Project Explores the Rules of Cyberspace

Jane Park, May 20th, 2008

Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society launched a new project last week: Publius. The Publius Project is a Web 2.0 version of the Federalist Papers, a collection of passionate essays written in support of the U.S. Constitution–mostly signed “Publius”. 

The Publius Project “brings together a distinguished collection of Internet observers, scholars, innovators, entrepreneurs, activists, technologists, and still other experts to write short essays, foster a public dialogue, and create a durable record of how the rules of cyberspace are being formed — with a view to affecting their future incarnations.”

The most recent essay, posted today, is titled “Muddling Through Internet Governance”. All essays are signed by their authors and licensed CC BY.

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