Collaboration Tips


Sometimes, writing collaboratively can pose problems and create more of an added difficulty than an advantage. Throughout this semester I have been writing a journal article with Mia Brady, Paige Ransbury and RPR. The focus is on student motivations in service-learning courses. The three of us were in the Grant Writing course last semester taught by RPR. In the article, we investigate the transition from grade-based motivation to motivation reflective of students’ relationships with the community partner for whom they are writing the grant. This was the first time that I have seen the positive outcome of writing collaboratively.

We wrote the article in parts, with RPR taking the literature review and introduction and Mia, Paige and I splitting up the body content. The three sections were Motivation, Collaboration with Peers, and Collaboration with Partner. Throughout this process, I learned some important tips for collaborating effectively:

  • Brainstorm the content together initially to determine the focus
  • Divide the writing into sections, and have each person brainstorm content for each section
  • Compare the confidence and ease with which everyone wrote the sections to choose who should do each
  • Don’t be afraid to get feedback on a truly rough, rough draft
  • Revise, revise, and revise again without holding back
  • And, most importantly, ask questions when you don’t know what you’re doing!

These tips can be applied in any type of academic setting, and even in general collaboration in a workplace.

What have you found to be effective in your collaboration experiences? How can you help improve the collaborative process in your next group project?

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