Collaborating across differences: Cover letters to facilitate writing feedback

The first three articles in this series, “Building relationships with co-author agreements,” “Reflect on writing habits in co-author processes,” and “Keep writing communication simple with the 5 Ps,” covered strategies for building trust and shared understanding among co-authors. In this final installment on collaborating across differences, we explore feedback techniques for co-authors that reinforce trust and understanding among writers to support positive writing productivity.

Of the techniques we cover in our collaborative writing workshops for faculty and graduate student co-authors, the feedback cover letter is one of the most valued by participants.Its popularity is due to its simplicity as well as the letter’s facilitation of clear communication across a feedback exchange that can often feel awkward, befuddling, or even risky for submitting and reviewing authors alike.