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Business Communication Team Writing Activity

by Clarice P. Brantley and Michele Goulet Miller


One helpful approach to prepare students for writing their own messages is the completion of a team assignment that precedes a graded assignment. Teams plan and compose a message similar to a message that will be assigned for individual completion and grading. The message is prepared for projection to the class, and the class constructively critiques content and format. The approach provides these learning benefits:

  • Members engage in group dynamics, experience the give-and-take of negotiating, and sharpen listening and speaking skills.
  • Students assume various responsibilities within the group, such as keying the message, proofreading and editing the message, presenting the message to the class, and so on.
  • Students practice message composition and revision in a cooperative environment before preparing a similar graded assignment.

Instructor Tip: Groups of four seem to function efficiently. Instructor monitoring is important to encourage participation by all team members. Visiting each group, quickly assessing who is participating and who is not, and pulling in nonparticipants with questions such as Did everyone offer suggestions? or What is your thought on this, [student’s name]? often redirects members to be more inclusive.

Simple techniques employed by the instructor to engage all members of the group serve as a guide for the team members themselves as they work toward cohesiveness.

CLICK HERE to access PowerPoint slides that you may use as you discuss team writing with your students.

You may expand your understanding of team writing as you explore the following web site: http://www.urban.uiuc.edu/courses/Varkki/teamwork/teams.html


Please continue to submit your favorite communication activities that may be included in future issues.

Communication Tidbits and Hotlinks is a regular feature by Clarice P. Brantley and Michele Goulet Miller, authors of Effective Communication for Colleges and The Basics: English.

For additional applications and more hotlinks, visit http://brantley.swlearning.com.