Understanding Collaborative Academic Writing among Beginner University Writers in Malaysia
The paper investigates collaborative academic writing among beginner university writers who enrolled in Bel311; English for Academic Purposes. The paper investigates the difficulties faced by beginner academic writers and proposes recommendations to help these writers to be better collaborative writers. The students were required to write term papers in pairs as part of course requirements. The students were required to write outlines, first drafts and the final drafts for their term papers. Writing term paper in pairs was the students’ first experiences in writing collaboratively in English as during Semester 1 and 2 of their diploma programs, these students were given individual writing tasks. Therefore, students found difficulties in finding the time to write together, compromising different ideas, negotiating conflicts, adapting with different personalities, styles of writing and different levels of language proficiency. Lecturers had to spend time teaching students not only writing skills but also negotiation skills and interpersonal skills dealing with their writing partners. The paper emphasizes the importance of understanding the nature of collaborative writing and beginner writers in order to help our beginner writers to collaborate with each other successfully in order to be efficient collaborative writers.Key words: Collaborative writing; academic writing; beginner writers; negotiation skills; interpersonal skills
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