What Students Need to Know About Collaborative Writing Assignments?

Collaborative writing is basically a combination of different activities carried out by a group of students/authors for the production of a certain type of document. The production process involves research, writing, discussions, arguments and debates among a group of people who all share their ideas, take opinions from others and play their active role in achieving collective goals. A group of students can work much better than an individual especially when more thinkers, researchers and writers are needed to complete an assignment. A collaborative writing task includes the following:

  • Academic goal

Every student has some academic goals to achieve and these goals are often linked with successful completion of projects assigned by professors and teachers.

  • Purpose of assignment

Once you start working on an assignment, you need to know the purpose of this type of task and what you are really expected to do in it.

  • Targeted audience

When you know who your audience is, this will be easier for you to work according to their expectations.

  • Reason to support collaborative approach

You can work as an individual but when you prefer to go for a collaborative approach, there must be some strong reasons to support it.

What Are the Advantages of Working in a Collaborative Group?

There are a lot of advantages of collaborative writing assignments because when you have more people in your group, you can utilize the strengths and capabilities of each individual. You may be an expert in one or more skills but may not be jack of all trades and this is where you can take the advantage of collaborative working environment. Some of the advantages are as follow:

In case one student is missing organization skills, the other may be able to cover up this weakness.

When there are more people in a learning place working together on the same task, they can learn a lot from each other.

On completion of a project, peer review from the senior members of the group can be availed.

Much less time is required to complete a project as there are usually no confusing instructions from instructor.

Can Every Type of Assignment Be Converted into Collaborative Task?

Well, many of the writing assignments may be completed more effectively when changed from individual to the group task but it is not always possible. Basically it depends upon the type of task that how many different activities are parts of it. Let’s check out this example of collaborative working environment:

Hundreds of engineers are involved in designing of a modern vehicle. They are working in groups of 10 engineers each and engineering different parts of the vehicle which means they have different responsibilities and if any of the group fails to fulfill its responsibility, the impact will be seen on overall designing of the vehicle. Therefore, each engineer has to take his responsibility no matter what happens. All of groups have to interact with each other to have clear understating of what’s going on with the other systems of the same vehicle. It is extremely important for each individual member to share and exchange the information for effective communication.

What’s So Important to Know about Collaborative Writing Assignment?

Different Stages of Tasks

When you are assigned a task, you are also given the deadline for its completion. Now it is up to you how you divide different sections of your assignments and set deadlines for each one of them. There are various sections such as research, writing first draft, writing second draft, reviewing, proofreading etc and to deal with every section effectively, a plan can be created to distribute the labor involved in the project.

How Final Draft Looks Like

  1. Final draft can follow a particular writing style adopted by one of the authors or different styles may be adopted.
  2. The entire group can show consensus on a certain project if everything seems ok. If not, there is a possibility to show disagreement in final version of the document.
  3. It should be discussed in the group if they need to include headings & subheadings.
  4. Some organizational support might be included if needed.
  5. Collaborative Working Styles
  6. There can be various styles of collaborative work which may include the following:
  7. Task can be divided into different sections and different responsibilities can be assigned to different students.
  8. On contrary to the above, all group members can come together, sit and write the entire paper.
  9. One or more students may be assigned to create a draft which can later be used by other group members.