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Instruments, Tools, Guides, and Resources for Composition

Page history last edited by ShareRiff 8 years, 10 months ago

Our Favorite Tools and Resources for Writing (subject to continuous remixing)

Post a link to your go-to resources for staying in tune in your writing life. Explore the resources shared by your peers.


"A distinction can always be made between weapons and tools on the basis of their usage (destroying people or producing goods). But although this extrinsic distinction explains certain secondary adaptations of a technological object, it does not preclude a general convertibility between the two groups, to the extent that it seems very difficult to propose an intrinsic difference between weapons and tools...some have spoken of an "ecosystem"...in which work tools and weapons of war exchange their determinations" (Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, p. 395)


"Browsing" the web is certainly different from reading a book, and so browsing the web would seem to be a long way from actually composing. However, tabbed browsing can accelerate or decelerate everyday browsing habits into a  writing practice of your own, if you let wiki into your plan. Because, once you get rrrrrrollllllin' with tabbed browsing, you're ready to roll on into the wiki, where you can click the "edit" button or "new page" button. Go ahead, open up a wiki window to the infinite! Then, slow down, and write it down. Dissolve all this tabbed energy.  Just place your cursor on the wiki and type a little bit about all you've seen and heard and felt on your journey. Sustainable composition practice depends on tabbed browsing, folks, so before you experiment with the online tools and resources listed on this page, and before you go any further in your wiki itinerary, be certain to install Firefox and/or Chrome and familiarize yourself with tabbed browsing. Grab yer cheatsheet, add your addons! Please, update this page by deleting obsolete resources and sharing new resources with your peers.


mechanics and style


Grammar Girl - "quick and dirty tips for better writing." Lay or lie? Ask Grammar Girl


Grammar Slammer


Craig Waddell's free prose mechanics this free grammar guide and style manual covers the basic


The King's English - H.W. Fowler's classic reference is now online


Open Office and Neo Office - free open source software that replaces Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc.


speed up open office tips from lifehacker.com


Elements of Style, a classic


3 modules on clear writing style at Rice's Connexions, a creative commons of learning modules, online texts, and courses.


Burroughs/Gysin nonlinear adding machine got writer's block? Chisel it up, find your "un-voice"


html color codes



45 Ways to avoid using the word very


Tips And Tricks For Writing Fast (And Professionally!)  Great tips for quickly getting the words on paper and completing a first draft.






Aristotle's Rhetoric


Silva Rhetoricae the forest of rhetoric


TV Tropes Wiki amazing tool for twisting, turning, tweaking, and otherwise patterning language. Learn about different genres across all media.


Weston. A Rule Book for Arguments


Bibliographic instruments




the C.R.A.A.P. test - acronymic mnemonic for evaluating sources


zotero vs. refworks - analysis  and review





Presentation and reMEDIAtion instruments


prezi everybody can create stunning presentations


Jing - record web browsing/editing/writing activity. Press play to display! A list of other screencasting tools

another list of screencasting tools





Zamzar - online file conversion







free expertise the official pbwiki community forum

wiki formatting




zoho free online (no downloading necessary) word processing, spreadsheets, and more


compose with sound


Reaper -  Advanced digital audio workstation with midi editing and full scripting support. Use the full version as long as you want for free, purchase the affordable license if you plan to make money with it. 


Audacity - free and open source multi-platform audio editing and recording software. Great for making compressed (i.e. podcast-able) .ogg and .mp3 files.


KVR - A compendium of virtual instruments, synthesizers, and audio-centric software and other, specifically useful for finding free plugins (VST, AU and AAX formats) for use with Audacity, Reaper, Pro Tools and other audio workstations


pandora the "music genome project"


Freesound- just what it says...and so much more. Tab out a soundplayplay, play


musipedia by mouse or by mic: "draw notes," perform "rhythm searches," match melodies, and more


soundtransit collaborative online field recording and phonography


CCMixter a place to share and remix sonic productions.


legaltorrents creative Commons-licensed, legally downloadable, freely distributable creator-approved music, movies, and books. Explore the issues on a tight budget.


podomatic - it's so easy to host podcasts


phlow magazine freeculture! a hub for netlabels, netaudio artists, mp3s galore


jahtari streaming mixtapes


compose with images


The GIMP - free and open source graphics editing software.

Grokking the GIMP - free online GIMP user's manual.


iPiccy - online, easy version of Photoshop


easeLly - create infographics at will


The Noun Project - icons for anything. Just search, find, and add to your writing.


composing in common...




click anywhere on your screen to add text, images, or a connection to your computer's camera.


Pirate Pad

real-time collaborative text-editing



The Creative Commons - Learn about how to share and protect your compositions. Shareable images, books, sounds, software, and more


filedropper store files, link them to the wiki




tiddlywiki free wiki composing tool


How to... instruction and revelation


Instructables how to collaborate...



the Public Library of Science


Nelson Poynter Memorial Library USFSP Library




-->Open Source screen capture tool<--


-->Scribus Desktop Publishing<-- 


more instruments for multimedia composition

Even more instruments for multimedia composition

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