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Richard Nordquist

Writing As a Collaborative Activity

By January 18, 2013

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"Writing may be initially an isolated activity," says novelist Joyce Carol Oates, "but it quickly becomes collaborative, if it is to have any existence beyond the immediate and ephemeral."

Today's question for writers and teachers: How can writing be taught effectively as a collaborative activity? To help launch the discussion, here are a few points to consider. . . .

For the complete article, see Teaching Writing As a Collaborative Activity.

If you have experience writing collaboratively (or teaching writing collaboratively), click on "comments" to tell us about those experiences and the lessons you have learned.


January 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm
(1) BanMeanies says:

Unfortunately, the first rule of collaborative writing is to remove from the process those who _compulsively_ and unkindly criticize the work of others.

When one party’s contribution is far below others’ standards of quality or relevance, the leader needs to educate or terminate that person offline or privately, not in the public forum.

Even to analytical “left-brainers,” their writing has a visceral connection to their self-image.

Because your ultimate loyalty is to your audience and your employer, handle any muddy writing and mechanical goofs.

But handle with kindness.

January 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm
(2) maurice says:

I wonder if collaboration is more for journalist and technical writers and not fiction writers due to the difference in accuracy required. Although TV, movie writers, and playwright’s have collaboration, but this due to many outside considerations, financial issues and time constraints.

But for quality fiction writers, who from the ancient Greek writers to any present day writers who are considered to be the best in the field ever did any collaboration?

It will be interesting to read other responses.

January 22, 2013 at 4:06 am
(3) Rugaya Jakoet says:

I must concur with ‘BanMeanies”. In my years of trying to teach collaborative writing in high school, I found the pupils’ various levels of linguistic competencies the greatest obstacle to success. Perhaps it works much better with more mature, College students.

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