Collaborative Writing in Petroleum Engineering: a Case Study of Petroleum Engineers in an Academic Setting
Date of Award
Interest in collaborative writing has surged in composition studies since the mid-tolate 1980s; aspects addressed include motivation, the composing process, the kinds of participants, authorship, conflict, etc. Much composition research concentrates on collaboration in the workplace to gain an understanding of collaborative writing that can be readily transferred to the classroom and that can prepare students for the social, as opposed to solitary, act of writing—to encourage collaborative thought. In this study, I attempted to find out more about what occurs in the stages (prewriting, writing, post-writing) of collaborative writing. My subjects were petroleum engineers on university campuses. Departments were chosen according to faculty size; thus, generalizations about collaborative writing in petroleum engineering could be made. Petroleum engineers seemed to follow patterns noted in much earlier research in their collaborative endeavors. Their use of outlines as a prewriting technique and their sense of writing as a solitary act appear typical of other collaborative writers. Also, they used collaborative writing as a teaching tool. These engineers revealed that communication, verbal or written, is essential to the success of their research endeavors. One interesting writing pattern found was that of "parallel writing," where engineers in the same location independently engage in drafting duel outlines of an individual project; once completed they compare the outlines and merge them into one outline. They admitted that disadvantages are present, but they seemed to believe that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Therefore, it is important to continue observing their habits and applying that knowledge in the classroom.
Coffey, Michael Anne, "Collaborative Writing in Petroleum Engineering: a Case Study of Petroleum Engineers in an Academic Setting" (1993). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 8285.