Collaborative writing

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Collaborative writing a writing process that is shared among various authors. The dynamics of the collaborative writing may vary widely.

What is collaborative writing[edit]

To understand what collaborative writing is, one must first understand the word collaboration. Collaboration is known as the sharing of labor,[1] whether this be as a pair or in groups. Therefore collaborative writing refers to the co-authorship of a writing piece.

Collaborative writing includes three necessary components to make the writing process work, which include:

  • Interaction between participants throughout the entire writing process. Whether it be brainstorming, writing a draft of the project, or reviewing.[1]
  • Shared power among participants. Everyone included in the project has the power to make decisions and no group member is in charge of all the text produced.[1]
  • The collaborative production of one single and specific text.[1]

During the collaborative writing process all participants are to have equal responsibilities. All sections of the text should be split up to ensure the workload is evenly displaced, all participants work together and interact throughout the writing process, everyone contributes to planning, making of ideas, making structure of text, editing, and the revision process.[2] Often times, collaborative writing is used in instances where a workload would be overwhelming for one person to produce. Therefore ownership of the text is from the group that produced it and not just one person.

Benefits of collaborative writing[edit]

Collaborative writing allows authors to combine their literacy tools and knowledge on a single project.[3] Group writing is a social activity, and students who participated in group writing experiments felt it was a good learning exercise. The two parts of collaborative writing that researchers indicated were most influential were peer reviewing and brainstorming.[3] Students that chose to do group and independent writing gave feedback that group writers came away feeling like they had thought of something with their partners that they wouldn’t have on their own.[3]

Peer reviewing made readers feel more connected to the writing, and authors were able to get specific feedback from their audience.[3] Teachers who observed collaborative groups said that members were more receptive and willing to change for constructive criticism.[3] Peer reviewing and brainstorming requires all parties to use critical thinking skills. Critical thinking skills in collaborative writing could be used in deciding on ideas, assigning what each person’s job is, and catering your writing to your audience.

Researchers who did grammatical tests on group writing versus independent writing in students found that even though the amount group authors wrote was less, they used more grammatically complex sentences and answered the prompt accurately.[3] Independent writers tended to use extra information and repeat words.[3] Although collaborative writing can take more time to write the same amount as an independent writer, group plans and simple task work can help time strains.

Attitudes in the academic world value co-authorship, and will often publish more collaboratively written articles more often than single-author articles.[4] Respondents in the professional world surveyed that they felt collaborative writing improved their writing because of their collaborator's knowledge, and they were able to spend more time on article quality together.[4]

Types of collaborative writing[edit]

Collaborative writing has been the subject of academic research and business for over two decades.[5]

  • Single Author writing or Collegial: one person is leading, they compile the group ideas and do the writing.[5][4]
  • Sequential writing: each person adds their task work then passes it on for the next person to edit freely.[5]
  • Horizontal Division writing: each person does one part of the whole project and then one member compiles it.[5]
  • Stratified Division writing: each person plays a role in the composition process of a project due to talents.[5]
  • Reactive writing: group all works on and writes the project at the same time, adjusting and commenting on everyone’s work.[5]

As an educational tool[edit]

Collaborative writing is used by educators to teach novice authors, of all ages and educational levels, to write. Collaborative writing can be used by professors to teach writers of all ages and teach different educational levels. With collaborative writing, it helps provide participants to explore, discuss and help with learning capabilities. Collaborative writing corporate by contributing ideas with others.[6] The quantity of learning and growth. In the past ten years most studies says that most students are motivated in collaborative writing because of their improvement in writing competencies. When students work in groups, it generally produces shorter but better text such as grammatical accuracy and fulfillment. It gave students ideas and giving information.



An author acquires a copyright if their work meets certain criteria. In the case of works created by one person, typically, the first owner of a copyright in that work is the person who created the work, i.e. the author. But, when more than one person creates the work in collaboration with one another, then a case of joint authorship can be made provided some criteria are met.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Storch, Neomy (2013). Collaborative Writing in L2 Classrooms. Multilingual Matters.
  2. ^ Lundsford, Andrea (1991). "Collaboration, Control, and the Idea of a Writing Center" (PDF). The Writing Center Journal. 12.1: 3–10.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Storch, Neomy (September 2005). "Collaborative writing: Product, process, and students' reflections". Journal of Second Language Writing. 14 (3): 153–173. doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2005.05.002. ISSN 1060-3743.
  4. ^ a b c Hart, Richard L (September 2000). "Co-authorship in the academic library literature: A survey of attitudes and behaviors". The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 26 (5): 339–345. doi:10.1016/s0099-1333(00)00140-3. ISSN 0099-1333.
  5. ^ a b c d e Lowry, Paul Benjamin; Curtis, Aaron; Lowry, Michelle René (2004-01-01). "Building a Taxonomy and Nomenclature of Collaborative Writing to Improve Interdisciplinary Research and Practice". The Journal of Business Communication (1973). 41 (1): 66–99. doi:10.1177/0021943603259363. ISSN 0021-9436.
  6. ^ a b King, Carla (1 April 2014). "6 Great Self-Publishing Tools for Small Press and Author Co-Ops". Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Getting Started with Atlas". Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  8. ^ "GitLab About - Built with GitLab". Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  9. ^ Lomas, Natasha (2014-09-22). "Authorea Nabs $610k For Its Bid To Become A 'Google Docs For Scientists'". TechCrunch.

Further reading[edit]