At some point in their educational or professional careers, most academic writers will do some form of collaborative writing, whether for a grant, conference presentation, publication or course assignment.
What is ONE major key to successful collaborative writing? Defining clear roles for each contributor. The larger the collaboration, the more defined roles need to be for each member.
Listed below are some necessary roles that members of a collaborative writing project can assume:
Line editor (grammar/technical)
If you have a smaller group, individuals may take on more than one role, or several members may decide to do a task or numerous tasks (like write, review and/or content edit).
When you establish each person's contribution from the beginning of a group project, you can determine the strengths within the group and hold each member accountable to his/her responsibility.
Several other keys are needed for successful collaboration; however, clearly defining and assigning goals at the outset of the project will greatly decrease confusion, misunderstandings and frustration.
Cultivating Writers...one tip at a time!