Stages of Group Writing
The following are suggestions for how to organize your group writing project in stages, from your first meeting to submission.
Sample Group Writing Schedule (One Month)
Agree on a thesis/central argument. Assign starter tasks. Assign meeting dates.
Check in (questions? Problems?) Assign who is responsible for which sections of writing.
Check in: Each member provides a brief intro to their assigned section, teaches the group. Members offer feedback.
Each member’s research is now complete, teaches the group on their findings. Members offer feedback. Begin writing.
Writing check in. First writing draft presented to group. Members offer feedback.
Final Drafts presented. Is there flow to the paper? Are everyone’s ideas represented? Central argument maintained?
Let’s make sure we have everything here.
Some tips to maintaining a healthy work atmosphere for group writing:
Don’t be that group member
Respect everyone else’s time. Show up (on time) with a good attitude, ready to work. Stay on topic; stay focused in your conversation(s).
Don’t wait around for someone to take the lead. Help solve problems and offer feedback when you can.
Don’t offer negative feedback only
During feedback sessions, offer both negative and positive critiques. Focusing only on the problems you have with others’ thoughts or writing can make group members act defensively. Be constructive with your feedback. Offer suggestions each time your critique.
This is even more important in group writing, as everyone is juggling multiple schedules, etc. Procrastination, when trying to maintain a group schedule, can bring everyone down with you. Don’t be that group member.