Working in Groups

I'll end up doing all the work

Fact or Fiction? Fiction

Unless you are unwilling to give up control or speak up for yourself, this shouldn't happen. Although the reality is that some people will try to get away with doing less, the chances of having a completely uncommitted group are rare. As a result, you simply have to watch for the tendency to think you "know better" than others and thus must do it all yourself and/or the attitude that your grade will suffer because everything isn't done the way you want it. To read about how not to do all the work, choose any of the items below:

Make Rules and Stick to Them

Before you even start work on a project, make rules about what will happen to those members not doing their part and outline the consequences. Here are some possible "consequences" other groups have used:

Speak Up

No one, usually, wants to anger his/her peers. When someone isn't doing their work, other group members need to tell them. Many times people who end up doing more than their share do so because they don't complain.

Divide the Writing Tasks

While everyone is not necessarily a great writer in all aspects, they usually know what they do well. Someone may be great at organizing but not be a good proofreader. Someone else might be great a vivid language, but lose their focus. Have group members write what they're best at and/or ask them to read the first draft for specific things they know well. Even if you're good at all aspects, this doesn't mean you can't draw on the others' strengths.

Be Critical

One of the advantages of group work is you learn to read your own and others' writing more critically. Since this is your work too, don't be afraid to suggest and make changes on parts of the paper, even if you didn't write them in the drafting process. Every section, including yours, belongs to everyone in the group. Thus, one way to get a better product without doing all the work yourself is to be a good reader.

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