Group Project Writing — Planning Tips for Success

Abstract for a Dissertation

Taking part in a group writing project seems to be an inevitable part of education. At one point or another, the professor will likely team you up with fellow students to accomplish a common academic goal. Group work differs from other projects. Here, you should separate the responsibilities within the team members, make the overall process organized, and go for a common refined result. So, how can you plan your group writing project to have a happy ending? An attentive attitude and some of our tips can be sufficient for you!

Group Project Writing Step by Step

Some people work very well in groups while others don't. Of course, nowadays, you can buy college papers online and don't bother yourself sweating over the books and requirements. But, not everyone can benefit from this option. Therefore, it is important and useful to keep in mind some rules and recommendations on group project preparing.

1. Review project requirements and brainstorm ideas

During your first meeting with group mates, read over the assignment and start jotting down ideas on how to approach your subject matter appropriately. Consider everyone's thoughts and try to be as courteous and supportive as possible. Poor ideas can usually be weeded out later, so it's not necessary to be hard on someone for bringing up a less than a promising thought.

2. Identify group goals and objectives

Being specific about the goals of the group is important even if the assignment is crystal clear. The group has to take the information and requirements and interpret it in such a way that they can develop their own unique goals and objectives fulfill within the confines of the assignment. In essence, this step usually involves crafting a preliminary research question and thesis statement for the group project.

3. Set meeting times and means of communication

Meeting times can be one of the hardest things to iron out when working in a group. But it's essential because before leaving the first meeting, you need to know where and when you will meet up again! Likewise, it's a good idea to limit gatherings to once a week or 2-3 times a month, depending on the complexity of the project. That will make the writing process more organized, and your work will be divided into stages.

Secondly, it would be wise for everyone to exchange contact information. That also includes Skype and collaborative editing programs such as Google Docs. These and many other online tools are an invaluable means of providing alternative communication between all group members when an in-person meeting is not an option.

4. Designate roles based on people's abilities and skill

Instead of picking responsibilities based on what people want to do, it is important to work intelligently and assign team members to do something depending on what people are good at (which ultimately should maximize the productivity of all group members). The idea is to think like a business person — maybe some of you is an English major and have exceptional editing skills, and another student is a manager at a store and would work well as a facilitator, and so on. By honing in on each person's skills, the hope is a better chance of overall success for the writing project. Depending on the difficulty of the role that one person may have, consider the possibility for them to write a smaller section of the paper, for example. But as a general precaution, there shouldn't be someone doing all of the writing.

Here are some suggested roles to implement outside of the general writing obligations:

  • Group Facilitator
  • Lead Editor & Compiler
  • Secondary Editor
  • Citation Expert
  • Fact Checker

5. Decide how the writing will be done

Finally considering the goals that have been set, begin to figure how to accomplish the assignment best and how each section or chapter should be organized. Likewise, the fact of whether or not the team will write collectively, or each member will do their tasks individually should be considered. For small projects that may only take a few hours of writing, in-person collective writing may work out very well. Thus, a lot of issues can be cleared up on the spot, which should hopefully make the revision process much smoother.

Final Tips and Recommendations

Then, the work starts — you assign the part of a group writing to each member and do your best to come up with a refined paper. And hopefully, with proper planning and goal setting, the project will turn out to be a true success. Of course, a lot depends on the enthusiasm and attitudes of participants, as well as the execution of proper etiquette and good manners amongst team members. Since editing and criticism is a big part of group work, all the members have to be extra cautious and helpful. Remember not to underrate your group mates efforts when suggesting changes or advocating for a different writing style/approach.

Other valuable issues to consider when working collectively is to be clear and firm regarding deadlines and attendance. A responsible choice is to agree upon penalties for missed deadlines and meetings, which hopefully will encourage full participation and cooperation from every group member.