Collaborative writing

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

What is collaborative writing[edit]

Collaborative writing refers to a distributed process of labor involving writing, resulting in the co-authorship of a text by one or more writers.[1][2][3]

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.[4]
  • 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.[4]
  • The collaborative production of one single and specific text.[4]

Collaborative writing is a regular feature of many academic and workplace settings.[5] Some theories of collaborative writing suggest that in the writing process, all participants are to have equal responsibilities. In this view, 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.[6] Other theories of collaborative writing propose a more flexible understanding of the workflow that accounts for varying contributions levels depending on the expertise, interest, and role of participants.[7]

Reasons for using collaborative writing processes[edit]

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.

Types of collaborative writing[edit]

Collaborative writing processes are extremely context-dependent.[8][9] In scholarship on both academic and business writing, multiple terminologies have been identified for collaborative writing processes, including:

  • Single Author writing or Collegial: one person is leading, they compile the group ideas and do the writing.[10][11]
  • Sequential writing: each person adds their task work then passes it on for the next person to edit freely.[10]
  • Horizontal Division or Parallel writing: each person does one part of the whole project and then one member compiles it.[10][3]
  • Stratified Division writing: each person plays a role in the composition process of a project due to talents.[10]
  • Reactive or reciprocal writing: group all works on and writes the project at the same time, adjusting and commenting on everyone’s work.[10][3]

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.[12] 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.[13] 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. ^ Storch, Neomy (2013). "Collaborative Writing in L2 Classrooms". Multilingual Matters.
  2. ^ Lowry, P.B.; Curtis, A.; Lowry, M.R. (2004). "Building a taxonomy and nomenclature of collaborative writing to improve interdisciplinary research and practice". Journal of Business Communication. 41(1): 66–99.
  3. ^ a b c Sharples, M., Goodlet, J. S., Beck, E. E., Wood, C. C., Easterbook, S M., & Plowman, L. (1993). Research issues in the study of computer supported collaborative writing. In M. Sharples (ed.) Computer supported collaborative writing. London: Springer, 9-28.
  4. ^ a b c Storch, Neomy (2013). Collaborative Writing in L2 Classrooms. Multilingual Matters.
  5. ^ Ede, Lisa S., 1947- (1992). Singular texts/plural authors : perspectives on collaborative writing. Lunsford, Andrea A., 1942- (paperback ed.). Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. ISBN 0809317931. OCLC 23768261.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Lundsford, Andrea (1991). "Collaboration, Control, and the Idea of a Writing Center" (PDF). The Writing Center Journal. 12.1: 3–10.
  7. ^ Singh-Gupta, Vidya (May 1996). "Preparing Students for Teamwork through Collaborative Writing and Peer Review Techniques" (PDF). Teaching English in the Two-Year College. 23: 127–136.
  8. ^ Sharples, M.; Goodlet, J. S.; Beck, E. E.; Wood, C. C.; Easterbrook, S. M.; Plowman, L. (1993), "Research Issues in the Study of Computer Supported Collaborative Writing", Computer Supported Collaborative Writing, Springer London, pp. 9–28, ISBN 9783540197829, retrieved 2019-07-27
  9. ^ Hayat, Tsahi; Lyons, Kelly (2017). "A typology of collaborative research networks". Online Information Review. 41 (2): 155–170. doi:10.1108/OIR-11-2015-0368.[verification needed]
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ a b King, Carla (1 April 2014). "6 Great Self-Publishing Tools for Small Press and Author Co-Ops". Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  13. ^ Storch, Neomy (2005-09-01). "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.
  14. ^ "Getting Started with Atlas". Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  15. ^ "GitLab About - Built with GitLab". Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  16. ^ Lomas, Natasha (2014-09-22). "Authorea Nabs $610k For Its Bid To Become A 'Google Docs For Scientists'". TechCrunch.

Further reading[edit]