ERIC Number: ED390043
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Two Writers Writhing: How Do We Explain Collaboration?
Mylan, Sheryl; Meyer, Russell J.
Two collaborative authors have found that discussions about collaborative writing are hard to come by. Despite years of research into collaborative learning, the collaborative nature of knowledge, and many examples of collaborative work by great writers, the notion of solitary authorship is hard to overcome. These authors found that few of the recently published co-authored textbooks deal in any significant way with collaboration as a cognitive strategy. Some books emphasize that a writer may call on others for help in brainstorming, while others defer any suggestion of collaboration until the final editing stages. In general, most are inadequate on the topic. The authors' own experiences working together may be atypical but still informative. They began their collaboration as colleagues talking--or complaining--about their students' work, then devising and sharing a common syllabus, talking regularly about how their jointly-planned classes were going, and finally gathering essays and other information to use in class, which eventually formed the basis of a book. Work on their book was largely informal and, since they were neighbors, often occurred in social contexts. Their working style, to the extent that they had one, was flexible. They have learned of other collaborative writers who have faced greater difficulties, living many miles from each other or having to negotiate considerable personality differences or working styles. Their investigation into this topic also calls attention to how genre or the type of writing in question influences the possibilities for collaboration. (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Speaking Writing Relationship; Work Habits; Writing Style
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (46th, Washington, DC, March 23-25, 1995).