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Bruin Success with Less Stress

Working with Friends

Question:

Eddie rewrites his paper like his instructor asked. He has now thoroughly and accurately attributed his sources and has even improved upon some of his arguments. He needs to get an "A," so he asks Carlos to read his paper and make comments. Is this OK?

   

Answer

It's OK. Having someone else read your paper and provide feedback is a great idea and is highly recommended by many writing instructors. However, Carlos would need to be careful not to "over-edit" Eddie's work—for example, he could not rewrite entire passages for Eddie or change his writing so much that it no longer reflects Eddie's original. If Eddie turned in a paper that was over-edited by Carlos, they could both get in trouble.

Some Tips on Working With Friends

  • If the instructor says you can work in groups or with partners, make sure you are clear on exactly what that means. Can you write the paper together? Can you just get feedback?
  • If you're sharing data (field notes, lab results, etc.) with classmates or lab partners, write your papers/reports independently unless your instructor says otherwise.
  • When in doubt, ask your instructor.

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