Friday, July 8, 2011

Advice on Collaborative Writing

Question: How should someone collaborate with someone else in writing something?

Answer/Quote: Anne Mazer: Organizing: “There are many ways to arrange writing collaborations for students. They could simply pair up as writing partners for a set period of time, such as a week or a month, while they complete a story.

Accountability: “To establish accountability, each person must submit a designated amount of writing each day to their partner, either via e-mail or in person. It might be a number of words, or a page, or a scene.”

Feedback: “There should be clear guidelines about feedback. Anne and I think it works well when the partners tell each other what they enjoyed most about the daily installment. No negative criticism allowed. Works-in-progress are as fragile as blown-sugar sculptures. One harsh word and the whole thing shatters. Positive feedback isn’t empty praise. It’s actually tremendously important because it gives the writer hints as to what is working.” P. 383.

Comment: I think the advice on feedback is especially important. I think I would post those words on the wall along with advice to the discouraged writer. I think the advice on feedback applies not only to collaborators, but also to peer response groups. By the way, I think this article is a “keeper.” Contact for requests. RayS.

Title: “Spilling Ink: Writing in the Play Zone.” Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter. Language Arts (May 2011), 381-385.

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