Friday, October 23, 2009

Topic: Collaborative Writing

10-second review: Analyzes the roles and assumptions of three people who are constructing a letter to a state official. What happened?

Title: “The Oral Language Process in Writing a Real-Life Writing Session.” RW Shuy and DG Robinson. Research in the Teaching of English (February 1990), 88 – 100. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).


1. The three failed to define explicit goals before writing.

2. Had preconceived stereotypes about the type of language that is appropriate for this type of letter to a state official: “…without any further delay,” “…to our mutual satisfaction,” “…help expedite this matter,” “Thanking you, I remain….”

3. The roles of each participant shifted during the writing of the letter and one person basically took over the leadership, the person in authority, in writing the finished product.

Comment: Thus, the final letter was neither direct nor clear in purpose, the language was stilted and, in the end, the collaboration broke down. RayS.

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