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Collaborative Authorship

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Time Estimate

35 minutes


To have students gain a larger understanding of American culture’s focus on individual authorship and when those expectations are not feasible.


Collaborative Authorship Handout

  1. Ask students to get in groups of 4 or 5 and have each group read a different scenario from the handout. After students have read the scenarios, ask each group to discuss whether or not the type of authorship was “acceptable.” (10-15 minutes)

  2. As a class, have each group explain their scenario to the rest of the students and then clarify what the group discussed about the scenario. Your role as an instructor is not to achieve unity among all students on these collaborative writing scenarios, but explore the possible outcomes from the actions described. You may want to highlight that standards of “acceptable” collaboration often depend upon context. It may also be advantageous to determine how your school’s plagiarism policy would read these actions. (20 minutes)