Two's Company, Three's a Crowd— Unless You're Writing
Essay tests are solo events, novels are written in lonely garrets, and we don't want to get into poetry and pain. When you write across the curriculum, however, you're likely to be called upon to do some collaborative writing.
Collaborative writing involves several people working together to create a document. The participants may be working in the same place, different places, at the same time, or at different times. Increasingly, collaborative writing is being done electronically, through e-mail.
You'll most likely be asked to write collaboratively in situations such as these:
It's plain to see that group writing is here to stay. Even if you haven't been involved in this method of composition yet, I guarantee that it's on your horizon.
Writing in groups has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are the two sides in a nutshell:
As these clichés show, some people think collaborative writing is the greatest thing since sliced bread; others consider it in the same class as spiders, sky-diving, and snarling dogs. Even if you're a member of the latter group, remember that even the finest writers can benefit from some judicious editing.
People write well in groups when they are flexible, respect others, confident, able to accept criticism, and deal well with conflict.
Group writing can also help relieve some of the tension you may have about writing, since it takes part of the burden from your shoulders by spreading the task. Writing with a partner or in a group also helps you …
All Together, Now
Close to 90 percent of all business executives write in teams at least some of the time. About half of those surveyed found collaborative writing productive. Since half of the executives did not find group writing worth the time or trouble, you can tell that collaborative writing isn't everyone's cup of tea. However, when it comes to writing many kinds of documents across the curriculum, you may have to share your toys.
Try these suggestions to make collaborative writing as successful and painless as possible.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Well © 2000 by Laurie Rozakis, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.