Tag Archives | writing

Social Paper

Social Paper lets members share in-progress writing projects, and receive feedback.  Granular permission settings let members of the Commons determine who they want to expose their work to.  Paragraph by paragraph commenting makes Social Paper an ideal tool for modern academic writing.

Navigating to Social Paper

There are three ways to navigate to a Social Paper. After you log into your Commons account, you can either:


  1. Use the CUNY Academic Commons drop-down menu on the top left and click on Papers;
  2. Select the Papers tab from the tabs across the site; or
  3. Use your Profile drop-down menu on the top right and hover over My Papers.

For more detailed instructions on how to use Social Paper as an author or a reader, see the following pages:

  1. How to Create a Social Paper
  2. How to Share and Follow Social Papers
  3. How to Comment on Social Papers

Social Paper is made possible by The National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities and the City University of New York Advance Grant Program.

How to Create a Social Paper

Welcome to Social Paper! This is one in a series of posts that explain how to use Social Paper tool on the Commons. For information on Reading, Commenting on and Sharing Papers, click here.

Step 1: Create New Papercreatnewpaper

If you’re ready to start your paper, the fastest way to do so is through the profile drop-down menu. Just scroll down to My Papers, then move your cursor to and click Create New Paper.

If you use the main page navigation or the drop-down menu on the top left side of of the page,  you will be taken to the Papers page (Social Paper). To create your paper, click Create New Paper.


Step 2: Give Your Paper a Title

Wait for the paper to load all the way (remember, we’re still in beta), then click on the row where Title appears replacing it with the title of your paper. Your title will automatically become part of the URL of the paper.


Step 3: Start Writing

After you’ve given your paper a Title, click on “Just Write…” and do just that!starttypingeditingtools





You can apply some rich text formatting to  your paper by highlighting your text.  You have the option to make it BOLD, italicized, strike through text, create a hyperlink, add a blockquote, or change the text to H2 or H3.

Add a Block


When you are typing and hit enter, a pop-up will appear that suggests to “Add a block.” Click this to add multimedia, a horizontal line, or a page break. You can insert media from a file on your computer or media library, or insert from URL. Adding a horizontal line will break up your text within the page, and adding a page break will create a new page for the content you are able to add.


Step 4: Update the Paper Settings

decriptionTo access your paper’s settings, click on the gear icon on the bottom left side of the paper.

Add a short description of your paper, which will appear alongside your paper in the Social Paper directory (If you leave this box blank, an excerpt will be used instead).

Decide whether you want your paper to be Public or Private in regards to reading and commenting. If you select Private, you can add readers who are members of the CUNY Academic Commons, who will receive alerts when there is activity on your paper.

You can also associate your paper with one or more groups by entering the group’s name.

Remember that anyone you’ve listed as a reader will receive notifications when there is activity on your paper, such as updates and comments.

When you have selected your settings, click on the gear icon again to toggle the Setting panel off so that you have more room for your writing.

Step 5: Add Tagstags

Include tags that are relevant to your paper (click on the tag icon displayed below in Step 6) so you can organize your work and allow your readers to find it more easily. In the example to the right, if you are writing a book review for your MALS 745 class and the book is on digital computing, you could include these as tags.

Step 6: Save & Publish Your Paper

The final step is to save and publish your paper. You have the ability to save your paper as a draft or publish it.  Your paper will not be visible to others while it is saved in Draft form.

While this is the last step in this post, we realize that these papers are living documents with the strong potential to be edited, re-saved, unpublished and saved as a draft, and republished. Do not feel you have to publish your work until you are ready. That said, the point of the Social Paper is to get feedback, which is a very important part of the writing process — so be social and share!


Social Paper Codex Pages

  1. Social Paper
  2. How to Create a Social Paper (current page)
  3. How to Share and Follow Social Papers
  4. How to Comment on Social Papers


Commentpress lets readers comment on each paragraph of a document, and respond in-line to other comments. Developed by the Institute for the Future of the Book, it is a terrific way for writers to solicit and track critiques of their work, from either a controlled or open group of readers:

Annotate, gloss, workshop, debate: with Commentpress you can do all of these things on a finer-grained level, turning a document into a conversation. It can be applied to a fixed document (paper/essay/book etc.) or to a running blog.

Commentpress’ documentation (written using Commentpress) shows how documents can be structured (title page, table of contents, pages, posts, numbering, etc.) and is a great resource once you’ve got the tool up and running.

Getting Started with CommentPress

To get started on the Commons, first activate both the Commentpress theme and its plugin. Then on your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings>>Commentpress to configure the plugin. Be sure to check the box to “Create All Special Pages.” All the other default settings are fine to begin with. You can always come back to the setting page to fine tune your site. By default, CommentPress uses pages as chapters and for its Table of Contents.

Readers may comment on an entire page or post, or on a specific paragraph within the page or post. There is no approval process for comments, but members must supply their name and email address (and optionally, their website’s url) to comment. To avoid spam, make sure to install and configure Akismet or some other spam filter. To control the pool of responders, you might want to set up your site as private, and invite the readers you want to join.

Here is a screenshot from Shakespeare Quarterly, to give you an idea what Commentpress looks like in action:

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