There’s a lot to love about Marca.

Of course, exactly what you’ll love depends on who you are.

Simple, clean design

Marca’s an extension of your classroom, so we’ve worked hard to make sure it’s a place where you’ll enjoy learning.

Friendly, quick support

Need help? We’re here for you. We’ll get back to you right away. (And, we promise we’ll be nice, too!)

We respect your privacy…

Unlike other education apps, we’ll never sell or share your data, and we won’t mine your data to show you ads, either.

…and your intellectual property, too.

We strongly believe that your work belongs to you, plain and simple. We make no claim to any work that you do on Marca.

Available on any device

Because Marca’s a web app, it’s available on any device and on any operating system. Whether you’re on a Mac laptop, a Windows desktop, an iPad, or an Android phone, you’ll be able to use Marca.

No software to install

You won’t need to buy a CD, worry about compatibility, or install plugins to use Marca. All you need is a modern web browser.

It’s easy to get feedback on your writing.

Your peers and your instructor can start a review of your work with a single click at any time and from anywhere, and Marca then saves reviews right alongside your work.

Everything in a single place

Marca collects everything you’ll need for class—readings, assignments, announcements, your own work, your peers’ work, feedback, and more—in a single place.

Never lose your work

Marca saves your work as you go, and we make sure it’s securely stored. If your computer crashes or you lose your backpack, at least you won’t have to worry about losing your classwork, too.

Designed just for writing classes by writing instructors

Just like you, we teach writing-intensive classes, so we built Marca to be the tool we all want to use in our own classrooms: simple, fast, focused, easy-to-use, and designed to save us time while helping us to teach better.

We handle all tech support

As a teacher, you already have enough on your plate—you don’t need to worry about tech support, too. If you or your students ever have an issue with Marca, just send us an email, and we’ll be on the case right away!

Save time grading with markup tags

An instructor who uses Marca called markup tags “the most important part of Marca, which alone is worth the price of admission,” and we just might agree. Markup tags let you leave better feedback, faster. Read here to find out more.

Teach multiple sections of a course with ease

Reusable content modules make teaching multiple sections of the same course (or even the same course from one semester to the next semester) a breeze. Share a class calendar or post documents, links, and announcements to multiple courses at once.

Great pedagogy built in

Marca’s built from the ground up to focus on good pedagogy, promoting sequenced, scaffolded, process-oriented, and student-centered instruction. With Marca, we’ve shaped technology to fit pedagogy, not vice versa.

One tool for everything

Plan your courses, post assignments, offer feedback, and more, all in one place.

Even after school lets out, class is still in session

Students can continue to work on peer reviews and other collaborative assignments outside of class, too.

Beautifully designed, usable portfolios

Students can seamlessly collect and present their work from the semester in easy-to-use, beautiful portfolios, all in one place.

It’s not Blackboard

Just kidding. (Except not really.)

No cost to the department

Students pay for Marca only in the semesters when they use it, so there’s no cost to the department or to instructors.

Get new instructors up to speed quickly

Marca lets you create a set of course content—readings, assignments, even calendars—that you can share with all your instructors.

A unified writing platform means everyone’s on the same page

When your program adopts Marca, all instructors and students will be using the same tools and technology.

Customizable formative and summative assessment tools

Marca lets you collect and assess learning outcomes on multiple levels, all customized to your program’s needs.

"We love using Marca at Anderson University. Using the embedded rubric and shared mark-up sets allows us to maintain consistency through our grading and remain true to our program’s vision. Our students can easily access Marca on the university-provided iPads so that we can complete low-stakes writing, drafting, and peer review exercises in class. Marca has helped take our composition program to the next level."

− Dr. Paige Ellisor-Catoe, Assistant Professor, Anderson University

"The most important part of Marca, which alone is worth the price of admission, is the markup grading feature—it's where Marca really shines. Being able to have a ready set of markup tags for complex writing concepts drastically reduces my grading time, as well as allows me to refine my marginal comments, rather than reinventing them every time. Marca is indispensable to my teaching."

− Michael Weaver


We’ve put a lot of thought into this.

Marca’s based on over a decade of intensive on-the-ground research, the latest composition scholarship, and a commitment to best practices for teaching and learning.

Originally called <emma> (English Markup and Management Application), Marca was started at the University of Georgia in 2001. Since then, the team behind the project has earned grants, conducted research, written articles, and given talks about Marca.

Awards and Grants

Balthazor, Ron, Christy Desmet, and Sara Steger. Innovative Instruction Faculty Grant 2013.

Acheson, Phoebe, Balthazor, Ron, and Caroline Barratt. “Kindle Research in the Writing Classroom,” Learning Technologies Grant 2011.

Hilton, Nelson, P.I., Ron Balthazor, Christy Desmet, David Gants, and David Payne. “EngComp Markup: Comprehensive Re-engineering of English Composition, Major Activities, and Student Services by means of Markup and Computer-Mediated Composition,” USG Learning Technologies Grant, 2001, 2002.

Book Chapters

Balthazor, Ron, Christy Desmet, Alexis Hart, Sara Steger, and Robin Wharton. “<emma>: An LMS for Writing.” Designing Web-Based Applications for 21st Century Writing Classrooms. Ed. George Pullman and Baotang Gu. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Company, Inc, 2013.

Balthazor, Ron, Sara Steer, and Robin Wharton. “Active Scholarship: Information Literacy and Research-Intensive Instruction with <emma>.” Teaching with Technology Volume 2: The Stories Continue. Eds. Sherry Clouser and Chris Clark. LTC, 2011.

Balthazor, Ron, Christy Desmet, Deborah Church Miller, June Griffin, and Robert Cummings. “Re-visioning Revision with Electronic Portfolios in the University of Georgia First-year Composition Program.” Electronic Portfolios 2.0: Emergent Findings and Shared Questions. Eds. Darren Cambridge, Barbara Cambridge, and Kathleen Yancey. New York: Stylus Press, 2009. 155-63.

Journal Articles

Acheson, Phoebe, Ron Balthazor, and Caroline Barratt. “Kindle in the Writing Classroom.” Computers and Composition 30: (2013): 283-296.

Balthazor, Ron and Elizabeth Davis. “Infrastructure that Embraces Good Pedagogy.” CCC Online. Special Issue -Infrastructures of Twenty-First Century Writing Instruction. (accepted).

Balthazor, Ron, Christy Desmet, Caroline C. Barratt, and Kristen Nielsen. “Collaboration is Key: Librarians and Composition Instructors Analyze Student Research and Writing.” Portal: Libraries and the Academy 9 (2009).

Balthazor, Ron, Christy Desmet, Deborah Church Miller, June Griffin, and Robert E. Cummings “Reflection, Revision, and Assessment in First-Year Composition ePortfolios.” The Journal of General Education 57 (2008).

Balthazor, Ron, Christy Desmet, Robert Cummings, Alexis Hart, and Angela Mitchell. “Writing (with) XML.” Readerly/Writerly Texts 11.1/2 and 12.1/2 (205): 29-46.

Balthazor, Ron, Christy Desmet, Robert Cummings, Alexis Hart, and Angela Mitchell. “<emma>: Re-forming Composition with XML.” Literary and Linguistic Computing 20, supplement 1 (2005): 25-46.

Notes, Abstracts, and Reports

Balthazor, Ron and Christy Desmet. “Finding Patterns in Textual Corpora: Data Mining, Research, and Assessment in First-year Composition.” Conference Proceedings, Computers and Writing 2005: New Writing and Computer Technologies (2005): 1-8.

Balthazor, Ron, Alexis Hart, Christy Desmet, Bob Cummings, and Angela Mitchell. “EMMA: English Markup and Management Application.” Proceedings that Matter: A Collection of Papers Presented at the Inaugural Teaching Matters Conference, Gordon College (2003): 45-62.

Conference Papers

Balthazor, Ron. “Marca: Data, Assessment, and the Open Movement.” Symposium on Assessing Multimodality.  Georgia Tech, April 2013.

Balthazor, Ron. “ePortfolios, Reflection, and Material Practices in Writing Program Assessment.” Computers and Writing 2012, Raleigh, June 2012.

Balthazor, Ron and Paul Quick. “Using <emma> for Collaborative Writing and Electronic Portfolios in Literature Classrooms.” Improving University Teaching Conference, Bielefeld, Germany, July 2011.

Balthazor, Ron, Christy Desmet, and Sara Steger. “Assessing ePortfolios with XML and <emma>.” Computers and Writing 2010, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, May 2010.

“Active Scholarship: Integrating Research and Writing in the eXtensible Classroom .” Panelists: Ron Balthazor, Caroline Cason Barratt, Sara Steger, Robin Wharton, Laura Adams Weaver. Georgia Conference on Information Literacy, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Ga., September 2009.

Balthazor, Ron, Christy Desmet, Sara Steger, and Robin Wharton. “Composition Markup and Error Tracking with <emma>.” Computers and Writing. University of Georgia. May 2008.

Balthazor, Ron and Christy Desmet. “Writing Assessment with EMMA at the University of Georgia.” Computers and Writing 2007, Wayne State University, Detroit, May 2007.

Balthazor, Ron and Paul Quick. “Using New Technology to Get Back to Basics.” Professional Organizational and Development Network in Higher Education Conference (POD Network), Pittsburgh, PA, October 2007.

Balthazor, Ron, Christy Desmet, and Nelson Hilton”<emma> Goes Mainstream.” Educause, Dallas, October 2006.

Balthazor, Ron, Christy Desmet, and Nelson Hilton“<emma> Goes Mainstream.” Southeastern Scholarship Conference on E-Learning (SSCEL), Macon State College, Macon, GA, September 2006.

Balthazor, Ron and Christy Desmet. “Marking Up the ‘Major Errors’: What Data Mining Can and Cannot Tell Us.” Computers and Writing, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, May 2006.

Balthazor, Ron and Christy Desmet. “Finding Patterns in Textual Corpora: Data Mining, Research, and Assessment in First-year Composition.” Computers and Writing 2005, Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif., June 2005.

“The FYC Grading Rubric and <emma>: A Perspective from Administration and Teacher Training.” Panel title: Transitions: Re-envisioning the First-year Composition Ethos with an Assessment-Friendly Grading Rubric. Panelists: Alexis Hart, Deb Miller, Bob Cummings, and Christy Desmet. 7th Annual Student Success in First- Year Composition Conference, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Ga., February 2005.

“How an <emma> Partnership with the Library Benefits First-year Composition.” Panel title: <emma> and Student Citation Behavior: A Collaboration between the University Library and First-year Composition. Panelists: Christy Desmet, Caroline Cason, and Kristin Nielsen. Georgia Conference on Information Literacy, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Ga., October 2004.

Balthazor, Ron, Christy Desmet, Bob Cummings, and Alexis Hart. “Re-visoning Composition with XML (Extensible Markup Language) and EMMA (Electronic Markup and Management Application).” Computers and Writing, Kapi’olani Community College, Honolulu, June 2004 (workshop).

Balthazor, Ron and Christy Desmet.“EMMA (Electronic Markup and Management Application) in Teacher Education.” SITE (Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education), Atlanta, March 2004.

Balthazor, Ron, Alexis Hart, Bob Cummings, Anita De Rouen, and Christy Desmet. “From Analysis and Composing to Publication with EMMA (English Markup and Management Application).” 6th Annual Student Success in First-Year Composition Conference, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Ga., February 2004.

“EMMA: Electronic Markup and Management Application.” Panelists: Nelson Hilton, Christy Desmet, Alexis Hart, and Bob Cummings. Rock Eagle 2003: University System Annual Computing Conference, Athens, Ga., October 2003.

“EMMA: Re-forming Composition with XML.” Panelists: Nelson Hilton, Christy Desmet, Alexis Hart, Robert Cummings, and Angela Mitchell. ACH/ALLC 2003, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., May 2003.

“EMMA’s First Year.” Panel title: EMMA: From Composing Markup to Marking Up Compositions. Panelists: Alexis Hart, Christy Desmet, Bob Cummings, and Angela Mitchell. Computers and Writing 2003, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., May 2003.

“How Do We ‘Mark’ Student Essays?: Describing Composition and Response with XML.” Panel title: Re-markable Texts: Transforming Student Writing with EMMA. Panelists: Christy Desmet, Alexis Hart, Bob Cummings, and Angela Mitchell. Teaching Matters, Gordon College, Barnesville, Ga., March 2003.