Working in Groups

I don't have time to meet out of class

Fact or Fiction? Sometimes a Fact

Most of us, even if we're very busy, can find two hours to meet with a group. The key is having those two hours in common with other people, which is why, when forming a group, time in common is the first thing to consider. If you are assigned a group, however, this may not be possible. In this case, consider alternative ways of meeting: telephone, e-mail, meetings with some group members, etc. To read more about different alternatives, choose any of the items below:


Everyone on campus can get an e-mail account. You can work on much of the logistical (who needs to do what when) work of a group through e-mail communication. This is also a good way to exchange drafts of the paper, with each person making revisions when the draft gets to them. Or, it can serve as a way to send your "section" before you have a complete draft and/or to exchange research notes. It's not as useful for hashing out ideas or coming up with your thesis for the paper, however.

Chat Rooms

Talk to your instructor about setting up a chat room through the WWW. Although sometimes frustrating because you will be writing instead of talking, you can use a chat room to do much of the idea generation that e-mail isn't as useful for because of the time lag.

Partial Meetings

Meet in two different groups, with one person in common. Take good notes so that one person can communicate what you decided/talked about to the next group. This can work until the "final" decision stage of what the focus of the paper will be and the final changes to the draft. For these, you'll need probably to meet at least once (for the decision making) or pass the draft around continuously until everyone is ready to sign off on it.

Weekend Meetings

No one loves this option, but if you have no other free time together, you might be able to find a Sunday morning or Friday night when everyone can meet for the one or two meetings that seem as if they must be face-to-face.

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