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Team Writing A Guide to Working in Groups



Pub. Date:
Bedford/St. Martin's
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Built around real group interactions,Team Writingis a flexible, hybrid resource that pairs videos with a brief print book. Based on research revealing major problems at all stages of peer group work, the book shows how written communication can help technical writing students contribute to team projects in a meaningful way and provides strategies for dealing with the breakdowns that can derail a project's success. Numerous examples highlight the kind of written communication that helps teams thrive. Short, Web-based videos depict student teams in action, going beyond the textbook to show what real collaboration looks and sounds like.

Author Biography

Joanna Wolfe (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin) is Associate Professor of English at the University of Louisville where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in writing and rhetoric and composition. She is author of numerous scholarly articles on teamwork, gender studies, collaborative learning technology, and technical writing appearing in forums such as Journal of Engineering Education, Journal of Business and Technical Communication, and Written Communication. Her research on collaborative writing in technical communication classes won the 2006 NCTE award for best article reporting qualitative or quantitative research in technical and scientific communication.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Before You Start
Chapter 1: Planning Your Collaboration
        Why Teamwork?
        Understanding Collaboration Methods
        Alternating Collaboration Methods
        Works Cited
Chapter 2: Project Management
        Why Do You Need a Project Manager?
        Task Schedules: Publicize deadlines and responsibilities
        Meeting Minutes: Build accountability and consensus
        Meeting Agenda: Keep discussions on track
        Email Reminders & Notifications: Step in when problems occur
        Other Documents the Project Manager May Produce
        Starting the Process with a "Straw" Document
        Works Cited
Chapter 3: Getting Started with a Team Charter
        An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: The Team Charter
        Team Goals: What constitutes success?
        Measurable Goals: How can you measure success?
        Personal Goals: What do individuals want out of the project?
        Individual Commitment: How much effort will each individual invest?
        Other Information: What other individual factors might affect performance?
        Irreconcilable Differences: How will the team resolve impasses?
        Late Work: How will the team handle missed deadlines?
        Unacceptable Work: How will the team handle poor quality contributions?
        Putting It All Together
Chapter 4: Getting Started with the Task Schedule
        Identify Major Tasks
        Assign the Roles to Individuals: Motivation vs. experience
        Schedule the Tasks
        Balance the Workload
        Technology and Tools for Task Schedules
Part 2: Writing Together
Chapter 5: Constructive Conflict
        Creating a Constructive Infrastructure for Your Team: Five key strategies
        Works Cited
Chapter 6: Revising with Others
        Developing a Culture Where Constructive Feedback is Encouraged
        Two Types of Revision: Feedback vs. Direct Revision
        Before You Start: Ground Rules for Revision
        Providing Effective Feedback and Making Good Revisions
        Listening to Feedback and Negotiating Revision
        Technology for Collaborative Revising
Chapter 7: Communication Styles and Team Diversity
        The Benefits of Diverse Teams
        How Differences in Communication Norms Can Cause
        Interpersonal Conflict
        Understanding Norms
        Competitive and Considerate Conversational Norms
        Self-promoting vs. Self-deprecating Speech
        Action-oriented vs. Holistic Problem-Solving Styles
        Gender and Communication Norms
        Works Cited
Chapter 8: Trouble-shooting: What to do when there are problems in the team
        Problems with Showing Up and Turning in Work
            A teammate misses a meeting
            A teammate misses a deadline
            A teammate turns in incomplete work
            A teammate turns in poor quality work
            A teammate disappears completely
        Problems with Personal Interactions
            My team doesn’t trust me to do good work
            My team isn’t listening to me—or is taking a direction I disagree with
            Other team members are not committed to a high-quality product
            My teammates do and say things I find disturbing or demeaning
            My teammates criticize my work excessively
        Problems with Revision
            Team members are not open to revisions to their work—or team members ignore the suggestions I make for revision
            My team is destroying my work
            Team members are not giving adequate feedback
            I am unsure of how to give good feedback to team members

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