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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.
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
Understanding Collaboration Methods
Alternating Collaboration Methods
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
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
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
Competitive and Considerate Conversational Norms
Self-promoting vs. Self-deprecating Speech
Action-oriented vs. Holistic Problem-Solving Styles
Gender and Communication Norms
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