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Group writing strategies

When assigned, group writing projects can often elicit a serious groan from students. While group writing assignments are common within the academic and business world – think grant and research proposals, reports, and undergraduate research papers – learning how to write in a group can be challenging.

Typical criticism of group work from students includes lack of cooperation, the necessity of depending on others, and task division; however, many of these issues are commonly found in the workforce, as well. In other words, working effectively and efficiently as a member of a group is a skill that’s important to develop.

A flowchart detailing more to less collaboration

Adapted from Speck, Bruce W. 2002. Facilitating Students’ Collaborative Writing. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report 28(6). Jossey-Bass A Wiley Company: San Francisco.

Writing in groups can be stressful, as working together to form one cohesive piece of writing with many styles and opinions can seem daunting. Where do we begin? Who does what? Do we all write separately? What are we doing here?

Having a plan of action to deal with group management and the actual writing process can make the whole project more manageable. The following links provide some strategies to help you and your group get started: