How to use our 605 Writing Workshop ‘Docs’ Section

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The Docs tool of our CUNY Academic Commons writing workshop course adds collaborative work spaces to our writer’s community. “Doc” is an abbreviation of “document.” Docs features include:

  • Docs that are Group-specific for our class
  • Doc taxonomy, which means using ‘tags’ to label our work. A tag describes the doc’s content.

Example: the first assignment is a “What if” Narrative. Give this doc three tags: “What if,” “Narrative,” and your (the writer’s) “last name” so that others looking for your assignment can easily find it!

  • Fully sortable and filterable doc lists

Example: By midterm, there will be at least 17 docs for each assignment, with comments and tags. If you want to quickly find all the docs for a particular writer or all the docs for an assignment, you can use this option rather than reading through the entire list of docs you and your classmates have submitted since the beginning of the course.

  • doc editing
  • One-editor-at-a-time prevention against overwrites, plus detection when a computer goes idle/autosave
  • Full access to revision history– access to all revisions!

Why we are using Docs:

Collaborative editing is the best reason. You will use the doc’s feature of the Commons when you are working on each of the drafts of your genre writing assignments: (“What if” narrative, poetry slam, academic paper, lit review).Each week someone will be assigned as your reading partner.

  • The whole class will use docs to create his/her own drafts, and your partner and you will both view and offer comments to one another’s papers.
  • Revisions of these versions will show up automatically: when you offer constructive comments on someone else’s paper you are automatically creating a ‘revision’ -the other person will be responsible for making adjustments to their copy based on your comments to them and vice versa.
  • Be sure to label each new doc with the title of the work, your name and the draft #. Tagging the drafts make it easy to locate (see ‘doc taxonomy’ More on tagging below)

Here are instructions on how to start a doc for your first assignment:
Go to the CUNY Commons website and log in. Select My Groups EDR605 spring 2013 Writing Workshop from the top navigation bar:


  1. Check the left side of the navigation bar in the home page of our group for the docs section:


  1. Select New Doc
  2. See below for additional features!


Assigning a parent Doc means that a link to the parent will appear at the bottom of this Doc and a link to this doc will appear at the bottom of the parent. Useful when there are other docs that refer to the one you are using.

Please note: In the Read mode of Docs, you can discuss the document and post comments and suggestions!