Publication Details

Beck, W., Dunne, K., Fisher, J., O'Sullivan, J. & Sheridan, A. 2006, 'A Cappella and Diva: A Collaborative Process for Individual Academic Writing', M/C Journal, vol. 9, no. 2,


Picture this: Five academic women are sitting at a round table in an elegant nineteenth century room located in a rural landscape in regional NSW. Sometimes with coffee, sometimes over lunch, the conversation ranges broadly across the spectrum of the personal, policy and university politics. Having traversed the terrain in which they work-workload, juggling the responsibilities that traditionally fall to women-the talk comes round to the business of the day: writing for publication. Here is how a typical meeting unfolds: they provide updates on their research successes, and then proceed to the discussion and critical response to a current piece of writing by one or two members of the group. While the rest of the group may not be familiar with the content or discipline area, they nevertheless are able to provide a meta-analysis of the structure and resultant clarity of the work using an agreed process. When the discussants-"the Divas"-talk about their posters or papers, "the a cappella group" analyses key structural features including the question posed, the main message to be conveyed, how the research was conducted and the scholarly contribution it makes to the field.