National Writing Project

Resource Topics

Teaching Writing - Writing Processes - Collaborative Writing

Additional Resources

Wikis Foster Scaffolded Collaboration in an English Language Arts Classroom

September 2009
Sarah Hunt-Barron
Sarah Hunt-Barron, a South Carolina teacher-consultant, documents the use of wikis to foster collaborative, project-based learning in her classroom. She describes her rationale for introducing wikis to her students and relates some lessons she learned from their use. More ›

Enabling Communities and Collaborative Responses to Teaching Demonstrations

National Writing Project at Work, 2006
Janet A. Swenson, Diana Mitchell
The authors created a summer institute protocol for responding collaboratively to the teacher demonstrations in the form of letters. This innovation elicited perceptive and thorough responses. More ›

Creating Empathetic Connections to Literature

The Quarterly, 2005
Lesley Roessing
Taken aback by her eighth grade students' dry-eyed response to The Diary of Anne Frank, Roessing finds a way to help students convert the them they encounter in multicultural literature into us. More ›

Growing Writers Through Collaboration

The Voice, 2005
Kathy Brody
Brody recounts her fourth grade class's inspired collaboration in writing and illustrating Animalogies: A Collection of Animal Analogies, which won Scholastic's Kids Are Authors contest in 2003 and has been published by Scholastic. More ›

Beyond I Am

The Voice, 2004
Michael Taylor
Taylor shares how a summer institute community-building activity turned into a before-and-after example of how participants become better writers in the institute. More ›

Building a Community of Stories and Writers: Lake Wobegon Comes to the Classroom

The Quarterly, 2004
Lesley Roessing
Inspired by Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion, Roessing has her middle school students collaborate to create their own fictional communities, write stories about the inhabitants, and finally produce radio shows from their stories. More ›

A Collaborative Book Draws Out Teachers' Voices

The Voice, March-April 2003
Edward Gauthier
NWP of Acadiana teachers collaborated on Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times: Stories of Americans at War in the 20th Century. Gauthier describes the collaboration and offers tips about how to do this kind of work. More ›

Book Review: (First Person)2: A Study of Co-Authoring in the Academy, by Day and Michele

The Quarterly, Spring 2003
Suzanne Cherry
Cherry considers the concepts in this book useful in its serious examination of the benefits and pitfalls of cooperation and collaboration, but challenges the writers' assertion that collaboration is necessarily "feminine." More ›

Beyond "Pink Is a Rose"

The Quarterly, Fall 2002
Michele Fleer
When poetry writing proves a challenge for her second-graders, Fleer turns to group poetry writing. In a group, Fleer's students are less hesitant to explore language and the ways it can be put together. More ›

Talking, Oklahoman to Oklahoman

The Voice, September-October 2002
Barbara Howry
Students from an urban community in Oklahoma, stereotyped by students from Georgia during an online exchange, learn a lesson when they realize they have stereotyped another group of students. More ›

Collaborating to Write Dialogue

The Quarterly, Summer 2002
Janis Cramer
Writing dialogue cooperatively, Cramer's students learn to develop characters, consider word choice, and interweave dialogue and description, while simultaneously strengthening their cooperative and independent writing skills. More ›

Collaborative Dialogue: When Writing Becomes a Social Act

The Quarterly, Fall 2000
Mary T. Mackley, Carole Jonaitis
A writing exchange between classes of high school and college students invites a kind of social act that makes in-school learning more like out-of-school learning. More ›

You and Me and a Book Makes Three: Students Write Collaborative Book Reviews

The Quarterly, Summer 1999
Bernadette Lambert
Lambert describes a project in which students and parents share and write about the same book. More ›

Book Review: Exchanging Lives: Middle School Writers Online, by Scott Christian

The Quarterly, Fall 1998
Lacinda Files
Files is impressed by Christian's students, who participate in an online discussion and write with more voice, flavor, and attention to content than one would expect of eighth-graders. More ›

Teacherless Talk: Impressions from Electronic Literacy Conversations

The Quarterly, Summer 1998
Karen Murar, Elaine Ware
An online cross-grade conversation about literature encourages students to develop and hone thinking skills such as questioning, clarifying, connecting, interpreting, and evaluating. More ›

When Third-Grade Writers Do Case Studies

The Quarterly, Spring 1996
Janet Kiddoo
Kiddoo describes how third grade bilingual students became "helpers" in a first grade bilingual class, leading them to understand that each learner is different and to experience the "joy of watching another person grow." More ›

OP 37. What's Involved?: Setting Up a Writing Exchange

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1994
Sarah Warshauer Freedman
When classes in San Francisco and London were paired in a writing exchange, writing substantial pieces for a distant but real audience helped students to care about their writing and make significant strides as writers. More ›

Writing Together, Learning Together: Collaboration's Two-Way Street

The Quarterly, Fall 1993
Mary Comstock
While conducting research in a fifth grade classroom, the author becomes involved with a student in a collaborative writing activity from which both she and the student benefit. More ›

Writing-Drama Connections: A Conversation

The Quarterly, Summer 1993
Courtney Cazden, James E. Lobdell
Lobdell interviews Cazden, who describes a strategy she employs with middle school students: having them focus on an issue through improvised drama before writing about it. More ›

TR 60.Collaboration Between Children Learning to Write: Can Novices Be Masters?

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, 1992
Colette Daiute, Bridget Dalton
The authors analyze individual and collaborative stories produced by low-achieving urban third-graders to illustrate that children can learn and use complex story elements by working with their peers. More ›

TR 52. Planning Text Together: The Role of Critical Reflection in Student Collaboration

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, 1991
Linda Flower, Lorraine Higgins, Joseph Petraglia
The authors argue that student collaboration does not necessarily foster critical reflection in writing tasks; however, those who engage in reflective thinking as a result of collaboration are more likely to produce high-quality plans. More ›

TR 56. Collaboration and the Construction of Meaning

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, 1991
Linda Flower, Lorraine Higgins
This study explores the writing processes of a group of college freshmen. The authors look at students' planning as acts of construction and negotiation and raise questions about the role students' strategic knowledge plays. More ›

Electronic Writing: The Autobiography of a Collaborative Adventure

The Quarterly, Summer 1989
Jane Zeni
Zeni gives an analytical account of the process through which she and a colleague wrote an article together by communicating electronically. She includes verbatim excerpts from their correspondence. More ›

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