Nowadays, many writing assignments are impossible to imagine without having a collaborative writing team. For example, a major publication house desirous of publishing a book on Spanish Culture may get it written by a team of cross-cultural experts in India, but will get it revised by a team of writers in Spain too.
Collaborative writing and peer reviewing are different activities, because peer reviewing basically is a correctional, editing-based and criticism-oriented process that comes after the collaborative writing effort. However, both are related and are often conducted together, so peer reviewing has been made a part of collaborative writing.
When handling a collaborative writing assignment, it is important to set the areas that a teammember can evaluate another teammates output. This decision is normally taken by the teamleader after a consultation with his team.
Some of the most common areas of evaluation are checking for completion, degree of cooperation and dependability on the writer, the amount of effort the writer put in his work and the quality of his output. The most important factor of them all is his adherence to deadlines.
As a team-leader, the person should have the ability to quickly outline a project and delegate different responsibilities to different team members or divide writing responsibilities among different writers in his team.
He should be able to motivate writers to keep writing when the process gets monotonous and should be able to resolve conflicts that frequently arise during the peer evaluation process.
In collaborative writing, the group assignment is designed in such a way that the entire team contributes in writing. This improves skills of leadership, planning, division of labor and responsibility-sharing among team members.
Planning is especially important because writers tend to work in isolation, which means they might not like to engage in frequent conversations and update-sharing. To manage collaborative writing assignments efficiently, a few factors are important to be kept in consideration. These factors are −
- The description of the project
- Success criteria
- Project outline
- Assigning of task evenly
- Equal responsibility-sharing
- Adhering to schedules
- Proper editing and
- Timely sharing of feedback