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Collaborating By: Mandi Schumacher.

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1 Collaborating By: Mandi Schumacher

2 Collaborating When writing an essay/ paper you spend a lot of time sitting at the computer by yourself, so some people don’t find the point in learning to collaborate with others. Whether your working in a group, participating on an online course with other people, or doing a peer review with your classmates on each others papers you are communicating with others in some way, shape, or form. You receive help from others and provide help as well, because two heads are better than one. It helps to have another set of eyes look at your paper to make it better. In order to do this you need to learn how to collaborate with others, which is not only good for writing but it’s also a good life lesson.

3 Rules for working in a group
The first rule to working in a group is to make sure the entire group is involved. Start by all facing each other because that way it’s much easier to hold a conversation among your peers. For most people it is hard to show their writing to others, because they don’t have confidence in it and think others will make fun of it. Be honest when commenting on other peoples writing, but also be thoughtful and respectful. Don’t judge or make fun of their writing.

4 Working in Groups cont. When you have a meeting with your group members, make sure you come prepared and have a list of things that need to get done in the amount of time that is available to you. Appoint a group member as timekeeper to make sure you don’t run out of time before everything is accomplished that needed to be. Also, make sure you have a group leader to keep the group on task and to make sure everyone gets a turn to speak. Make sure that no one is left out and everyone voices their own opinions. Lastly, appoint a third person to record the main points made in the group discussion, and write a summary about what the group members talked about and approve of, what they think can be improved, and what they agree are the strong points of the writing.

5 Group Writing Projects
Some real life jobs such as business, industry, and some academic fields require people to collaborate in groups to make a document. This requires a lot of responsibility and can be very challenging, because it is a new challenge that you have to learn and get use to, some tips to help you in this situation are: Defining the task make sure everyone understands and agrees on what is happening and what needs to get done for the task. Divide the project into different parts- Decide what can be done individually, in subgroups, and what everyone can work on together as a team.

6 Group writing projects cont.
Assign each member of the group a certain task. The task should compare to what the group member is interested in and what they are the best at. Make sure everyone gets an equal part. Determine a deadline for the project, but when deciding that deadline make sure you account for enough time for any problems that may occur along the way. Find a way that everyone can use their style of writing and still make it work as a team, but everyone must realize that their way is not the only way. Everyone needs to agree that the plans are appropriate and can be done, they don’t necessarily have to agree on the way that it is done but agree that it’s a good idea. Make sure everyone in the group is pitching in and putting in their fair share of work, if someone is lacking in their work you need to get them back on task and make sure they complete the task well. Everyone should do a fair amount of work, and it is suggested that someone keep track of who has done what.

7 Online Collaboration Collaborating online can be a very helpful advantage, but it can also cause many problems. It is helpful because you can work with other people and not have to be in the same room at the same time. But the internet is not always the most reliable thing and sometimes it can be harder to communicate with one another online. So here are some helpful suggestions for collaborating online: The first thing is to watch what you say and how you word things, because the reader can’t hear the tone of your voice or see you body language or gestures to tell if you are serious, sarcastic, etc. You speak through your words and your words can be misinterpreted,

8 Online Collaboration cont.
Keep your writing neutral meaning be careful of what you say and what opinions you voice. When working online you never know where your writing could end up, who sees it, and who could be offended by what you say. As a group you need to decide the best way to send the papers to each other, and how to give feed back to each other. You can attach a file through and post a message commenting on the writing. Or you can post to a course black board, depending on what works best for you and your group members.

9 Writing Conferences Conferences with a professor or tutor is a helpful type of collaboration. For most people it is easier to have a one - on -one conference with an instructor to fully understand what they did right and what they did wrong. Here are some tips to make the most of your conference: Firstly, you should always come prepared with your draft, outlines, and any questions that you may have. The more specific questions that you have the smoother the conference will go, and the more you will get out of the conference. Listen carefully to what the instructor has to say and don’t be rude or get angry. If the reader is having a hard time understanding what you are trying to say, maybe you are not conveying your message clearly. If you disagree with what the instructor is saying because they are misinterpreting your writing, re-explain it to them because they are only trying to help. Take their advice into consideration because maybe the way you wrote it is unclear.

10 Writing conferences cont.
Take notes on what the instructor suggests and key points or words that they said that could improve your writing. But also pay attention to not only the bad things but also the strong points in your writing. So that you have a good example and a bad example, that will help you later on in trying to find a happy medium for your writing to improve it. After the conference is done reflect on it, think about what you have learned, what you have to do to next, and think about questions you may have for your next conference.

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