Download Across Property Lines: Textual Ownership in Writing Groups by Candace Spigelman PDF

By Candace Spigelman

Candace Spigelman investigates the dynamics of possession in small workforce writing workshops, basing her findings on case stories concerning teams: a five-member inventive writing staff assembly per 30 days at an area Philadelphia espresso bar and a four-member college-level writing staff assembly of their composition school room. She explores the connection among specific notions of highbrow estate inside of every one crew in addition to the effectiveness of writing teams that embody those notions. Addressing the negotiations among the private and non-private domain names of writing inside of those teams, she discovers that for either the devoted writers and the newcomers, “values linked to textual possession play a vital position in writing team performance.”


Spigelman discusses textual possession, highbrow estate, and writing team procedures after which experiences theories on the subject of authorship and data making. After introducing the members in each one team, discussing their texts, and describing their workshop periods, she examines the writers’ avowed and implied ideals approximately changing rules and keeping person estate rights.


Spigelman stresses the mandatory rigidity among person and social features of writing practices: She argues for the necessity to foster extra collaborative task between scholar writers via replicating the procedures of writers operating in nonacademic settings but additionally contends that each one writers needs to be allowed to visualize their person corporation and authority as they compose. 

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Additional info for Across Property Lines: Textual Ownership in Writing Groups

Example text

The group members ¤rst met in a noncredit creative writing class at Temple University, Center City. During the ¤nal days of the class, they discovered that they worked well together, and at the suggestion of the professor, they agreed to meet outside of class to see if the group was feasible. Their success convinced them to continue. All of the members were college graduates; several had graduate degrees. Fay was a professional ¤ction writer, while Doug, Ellen, and Brenda wrote non¤ction prose in their professional lives.

They differ from other kinds of collaboration mainly in regard to the ¤nished product. In workplace settings ranging from the corporate sphere to the entertainment industry, for example, professionals serving on project teams often cowrite documents, either by contributing and organizing individual pieces into a coherent whole or by composing a piece together. Likewise, scienti¤c articles are a composite of research provided by senior and junior members, who have, in various ways, contributed to the outcome of a single project.

Especially with novice writers, excessive peer investment may be too appropriative and serve to curb writers’ investments in their own projects. In some cases, student writers may feel compelled, because of insecurity or commitment to the group, to make changes that affect the meaning of their texts in ways that are contrary to their own intentions (Spear 36), leading to what Carol Berkenkotter describes as “a crisis of authority” (316–18). In effective writers’ groups, individual writers operate as members of a community in which (in John Trimbur’s terms) dissensus accompanies consensus, as individual members make decisions about how they will use their peers’ advice.

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