General Introduction

Many college writing assignments require that you work in a project. Collaborative writing and peer reviewing are not the same tasks, although both are often treated as collaborative writing. Collaborative, or team, writing is the process of producing a written work as a group where all team members contribute to the content and the decisions about how the group will function. Peer reviewing is the process of giving specific feedback to someone, usually a classmate, about a written assignment. Because many teachers give peer review assignments as well as collaborative ones, we offer some tips for those as well.

Group assignments can be difficult for many adult students with busy schedules because they require planning, coordination, and frequent communication with other students. Teachers nonetheless view group work as good preparation for the types of complex assignments you are likely to receive on the job. Also, collaborative assignments offer students the benefits and experience of building on existing knowledge through the dynamic interplay with and among other students, the subject matter, and the teacher. With careful coordination and communication, group writing assignments can yield excellent results and valuable experiences. This appendix presents some strategies that can help you make collaborative writing and peer reviewing assignments successful.