Collaborative Writing: Everything You Need to Know

This is a writing activity where students are allowed to write in a social context. Here, there are usually partner(s) and a lecturer guiding the students through the process. Collaborative writing draws on the energy and expertise of the group’s members, which often leads to an outcome that’s better than the sum of its parts.

There are various reasons why collaborative writing is a good exercise for students. For one, it helps them view writing as a public, communal act instead of an isolated, private one. Several students write their class assignments in a way that makes sense to them but isn’t persuasive or clear for others. Working in a group and getting feedback from peer reviewers will help them understand that their writing isn’t intended for themselves, but for their readers. This way, collaborative writing will help students develop a concrete sense of the audience and the reason behind why they’re writing what they’re writing.

Through collaborative writing, students get better clarity about the conventions of academic discourse. When working with their peers, students will learn where their readers falter and even find the reasons. Thus, via collaboration with peers, students realize that academic conventions aren’t mere arbitrary rules, but reflect the readers’ expectations. The conversations and discussions that usually happen in collaborative wiring pave the way to a better understanding of the writing conventions that the students may have either misunderstood or neglected.

Collaborative writing offer students practice in analyzing writing. Typically, it’s easier to notice where a classmate’s writing is going off track than it’s to locate flaws in their own prose. It’s also easier to critique the writing of peers than analyzing the published write-ups that teachers frequently give their students as models.

When they work in a group, students feel encouraged to talk about their writing, explain their points of view, and even defend their ideas, opinions, or writing strategies in peer review sessions. This helps them understand writing as a process better and even boosts their sense of mastery in it. According to an oft-quoted saying, the best way to learn anything is to teach it. When students direct their peers during collaborative writing sessions, they gain new insights and even understand how they can strengthen their own prose.

Collaborative writing draws upon the strengths of all members. While a student may be stronger in organizing and presenting the facts, another may excel in editing or critical thinking skills. When these students come together to work in groups, they learn from each other while completing their assigned tasks.

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