The following are samples of group writing activities offered by the Center for Instruction Development and Research at University of Washington at Seattle.

A. Ask students to work together revising a document that has already been written. This is a useful activity for work on focus, organization, support, and use of jargon. You might have them rewrite something for a different purpose or audience. You have the option of having them sit down together cold or work individually on the document beforehand and then pool their suggested changes.

B. Assign a group writing project. For example, instructors in sociology, speech communication and political science might divide their classes into 5 or 6 groups in order to investigate local problems or issues. Some students do the background research while other conduct interviews or surveys. Each student prepares a draft of his or her results for the group. Then the group as a whole must synthesize the information, organize, and prepare a report for presentation to the entire class. This assignment provides the instructor with only five or six papers to grade.

C. Use peer response groups to work on all stages of major assignments:

1. Brainstorm about possible topics or approaches to the assigned topic.

2. Bring in plans or notes for feedback from group members.

3. Read drafts to check that criteria for the assignment are being met. Provide feedback forms that address the criteria (i.e., questions about content, focus, organization, style, etc.

4. Read completed drafts for work on editing and/or revision.

5. Written Critiques: Ask students to write an overall response to another student’s essay. Provide guidelines for criticism which address the assignment criteria.

Continue to other writing-to-learn activities
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