• Andrea Sadberry, IPPF Executive Director

Tuesday Tip: Identifying a Writing Process

A unique challenge to the IPPF process is finding the best way to write a cohesive essay

authored by three, four, or sometimes even more individuals. Once you have found your team, you will first want to decide on the writing model that will work best for your group. While every IPPF team is different, there are two common iterations of the writing model: the lead editor model and the divided sections model.

Lead Editor

In this writing process, one member serves as the lead editor and writer of the essay,

while the other team members take on the bulk of the research burden. The researchers identify evidence, pull direct quotes, and synthesize the information in a concise format. The lead writer then weaves together the best arguments with seamless transitions and rhetorical flourishes.


This model probably results in a more cohesive essay supplemented by one strong voice. However, this model requires a significant amount of trust in your teammates to follow through with the research and puts a lot of the pressure on just one team member.


Divided Sections

A good essay is going to be organized into distinct sections anyway, so the natural

tendency of most teams will be to assign each section of the essay to a different writer. The team meets as a whole to discuss the overall direction of the essay and agrees on the major areas of analysis that should be addressed. Then, keeping the word count in mind, each member becomes the expert on their assigned section and essentially writes a smaller, independent essay. This model allows for a clear division of labor and allows each team member to become an expert on a specific area of the resolution.


The challenge of this model is making sure the three or four distinct sections flow together and establish a strong, cohesive voice before submitting the final draft. Setting early deadlines for each member to submit their section is key to making this style effective.

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