CPSC 689/602--Spring 1997
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work


Paper Report

Title: How People Write Together
Authors: Ilona R. Posner and Ronald M. Baecker
Citation: Proceedings of the Twenty-fifth International Conference on the System Sciences, Hawaii,1992
Reprinted in:Groupware and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work pp239-250


This article investigates how people write jointly and try to discover the mechanism that people used in the joint writing. 22 writing groups were chosen for this study. Group composition and writeing reflects the diversity of the group writing. Group members were interviewed. The authors obtained the following results.
1. The writing process is classified based four elements:
roles: consultant role, editor role.
activities: roles and activities are closely related. The activities with similar names are performed the people who has the role.
document control methods:
writing strategies: single writer strategy, scribe strategy, Separate writers strategy, joint writing strategy, consulted strategies.
2. Based on their results the authors suggest some requirements that a collaborative writing system should support. Preserve collaborator identities; Support communication among collaborators; Make collaborator roles explicit; Support the six primary writing activities; Support transitions between activities; Provide access to relevant information; Provide version control mechanism; Support concurrent and sequential document access; Support several documentaccess methods: write, comment, read; Support separate document segments; Support one and several writers; Support synchronous and asynchronous writing.
Report prepared by: Xiaogang Wu , Email: x0w1553@cs.tamu.edu
Discussion date: 2-10-97           Report date: 2-11-96