Sources for additional content

This Composition Reader is an edited, curated collection of OER material for you to use as you see fit in your course.  It consists of personal essays, literature, video and audio files, web writing, and long-form journalism.

As the sources for OER reading material become more abundant, this collection will continue to grow.  It represents only a fraction of the material that’s available, of course.

Material in this reader is drawn from the following sources, which can be mined for additional content if you’re looking for a topic that you would like to use in your class.  Any content in this list can be copied into your course as long as credit is given to the original source.

Source Description Type License
ProPublica “Journalism in the Public Interest” long-form journalism & investigative reports most stories are CC-By NC ND
BoingBoing “The award-winning zine, blog and directory of wonderful things” journalism, blogs, and personal narratives CC-By NC SA
TED Talks “TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).” video lecture presentations embedded via YouTube YouTube Standard Terms of Use
Sage Open Journal SAGE Open is an open access publication from SAGE. It publishes peer-reviewed, original research and review articles in an interactive, open access format. Articles may span the full spectrum of the social and behavioral sciences and the humanities.” academic journal articles of deeper complexity CC-various  To find license for a particular article, view the Info & Metrics tab.
Project Gutenberg “Project Gutenberg offers over 49,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online.” literature Public Domain
WikiSource “Welcome to Wikisource,

the free library that anyone can improve.”
primary source material on a wide variety of subjects CC – various

Each item indicates copyright clearly at the bottom of the page

OpenSource “The open source way is about applying the principles of open source software development beyond software. Beyond technology. is about sharing how the open source way can change our world in the same way the open source model has changed software.” blogs and personal narratives around the open source software community CC – various

(Primarily CC-By SA)

National Park Service “Stories of America’s diverse places and people are everywhere. Our stories are found across the landscapes of our nation, in more than 400 national parks, in National Heritage Areas, along historic trails and waterways, and in every neighborhood.” essays and profiles of U.S. people and places Public Domain
Lit2Go “Lit2Go is a free online collection of stories and poems in Mp3 (audiobook) format. An abstract, citation, playing time, and word count are given for each of the passages. Many of the passages also have a related reading strategy identified. Each reading passage can also be downloaded as a PDF and printed for use as a read-along or as supplemental reading material for your classroom.” fiction, poetry, & essays Copyrighted, but permission granted to use up to 25 MP3 and/or text files in a single project.  Non-commercial use only.
US Dept. of Health & Human Services “It is the mission of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. We fulfill that mission by providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services.” blogs and personal essays related to health Public Domain


Centers for Disease Control “CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.” blogs, technical reports, and personal essays related to health Public Domain


Elsevier Journals “Elsevier enables subscribers and the general public to have free access to archived material in 98 Elsevier journals.” academic journals, related to math & science Journals on this list contain at least some CC-By NC ND articles.  Each journal has a separate way of searching through content to determine licensing
Writing Spaces “Writing Spaces is an open textbook project for college-level writing studies courses. Each volume in the Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing series contains peer-reviewed collections of essays about writing—all composed by teachers for students—with each book available for download for free under a Creative Commons license.” long-form essays about academic writing CC-By NC SA or CC-By NC ND.  Each essay is separately licensed.
without bulls*** “On my blog and in my upcoming book […] I will analyze why people lie, obfuscate, and ramble on instead of coming to the point. I will show how powerful, bold, direct writing saves us all time and wins every time.” blog entries on current events and writing strategies CC-By NC


“PLoS is a nonprofit publisher and advocate of Open Access research.”

academic research, primarily biology & other natural sciences, including medicine



The goal of Awesomeography is to show everyone who is interested a path to doing Awesome things. We imagine people, sitting in their Awesome homes surrounded by Awesome things, thinking, ‘I would like to make something Awesome, but I don’t know where to start!’ Awesomeography shows you where to start, and helps you past those little obstacles that might keep you from moving forward on your path to Awesome.”

blog with entries on writing and other assorted ideas


The Conversation

The Conversation US launched as a pilot project in October 2014. It is an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community, delivered direct to the public.”

journalism arranged by topic

varies by page; most CC-By NC ND


Futurity features the latest discoveries by scientists at top research universities in the US, UK, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The nonprofit site, which launched in 2009, is supported solely by its university partners…in an effort to share research news directly with the public.”

short-form academic articles and online journalism varies by page; most CC-By

Mind Hacks

Neuroscience and psychology news and views.”

blog entries CC-By NC SA

Paralegal Alliance

We are professionals supporting the advancement of the paralegal profession.   We focus on tools and resources to help paralegals learn, advance, and win.   Are you considering the paralegal profession?  Have you been a paralegal for your entire career and considering a change?  Perhaps you are thinking about starting your own freelance business?   We can meet you at any stage in your progression.”

articles related to the paralegal profession CC-By ND

Queen City Writers

A Journal of Undergraduate Writing and Composition

“QCW is a refereed journal that publishes essays and multimedia work by undergraduate students affiliated with any post-secondary institution. We also publish reviews, snapshots of writers, and comments”

student academic writing related to composition and rhetoric  CC-By NC

The Southwest Respiratory and Critical Care Chronicles

“This Journal will publish editorials, original articles, review articles, case reports, and images related to respiratory and critical care medicine.  The Journal will also publish articles about public policy and medicine.” academic journal related to public health CC-By

Literacy and Numeracy Studies

“an international refereed journal which promotes research, scholarship and critical analysis of policy and practice concerning the many and complex ways that adult literacy and numeracy are implicated in the lives of young people and adults. Adult literacy and numeracy practices are locally situated, influenced by the cultures and contexts of use. This journal not only explores the multiple understandings of adult literacy and numeracy in policy and practice but also what people do with their skills, and how they use them with different texts and modalities and in differing contexts.” academic journal related to literacy and numeracy CC-By

Cultural Studies Review

“a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication and circulation of quality thinking in cultural studies—in particular work that draws out new kinds of politics, as they emerge in diverse sites. We are interested in writing that shapes new relationships between social groups, cultural practices and forms of knowledge and which provides some account of the questions motivating its production. We welcome work from any discipline that meets these aims. Aware that new thinking in cultural studies may produce a new poetics we have a dedicated new writing section to encourage the publication of works of critical innovation, political intervention and creative textuality.”

academic journal related to cultural studies CC-By

Assorted Journals from UTS Press (University of Technology Sidney)

This collection of Open Access Journals offers an international perspective and critical lens into a variety of subject areas. Includes Literacy and Numeracy Studies and Cultural Review Studies, above. 

academic journals CC-By

Pan Am Post

“News and analysis in the Americas”

news & analysis related to North & South America. Includes English- and Spanish-language content. CC-By ND

Green Tea and Velociraptors

“Green Tea and Velociraptors has absolutely nothing to do with it’s name. Written by Jon, posts usually involve the discussion of the latest stuff that is awesome in Palaeontology, and not just about new dinosaurs. Broader issues such as science communication and open access are also discussed in this forum, and rampant commenting is strongly encouraged.”

Blog posts written in an entertaining, engaging style about scientific topics CC-By




In this second table, find a list of reading material resources which are FREE, but not OPEN.  In other words, they are free to access, but do not have Creative Commons licenses on them.  If you’d like to use these materials in your courses, you’re welcome to put a link to the content for your students to access, but you cannot copy the material directly into your course without breaking copyright law.

Source Description Type License
Words Without Borders “The online magazine for international literature” Fiction & Essay Copyrighted–link to content
TextBOX “an anthology of exemplary fiction, essays and poetry published in The Missouri Review since 1978.” Includes writing prompts, discussion questions, author interviews, and critical introductions to each piece. Fiction, Essay, & Poetry Copyrighted–link to content
Narrative “A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2003, Narrative is dedicated to advancing literary arts in the digital age by supporting the finest writing talent and encouraging readership across generations, in schools, and around the globe. Our online library of new literature by celebrated authors and by the best new and emerging writers is available for free.”  Requires users to create a free account to access material. Fiction, Poetry, Essay, & Visual Arts Copyrighted–link to content
The New Yorker The New Yorker is a weekly magazine offering a signature mix of reporting and commentary on politics, international affairs, popular culture and the arts, science and technology, and business, along with fiction, poetry, humor, and cartoons.” Nonfiction, Fiction, & Visual Arts Copyrighted–link to content