First, I hate working on group projects in college! Just like in high school, you have those who don’t do a thing yet get the same grade as everyone else. Then you have those who do their work, either adequately or very well. Then you have those who go above and beyond to make sure the projects gets the best grade possible. I fall into the latter group, because the medical program I am applying to ranks applicants according to their grades in their science classes and on professor references.
So, we have a group project (a paper) in one of my science classes. I was elected group leader because I take the fewest hours of the three people assigned to my group (mind you, I also work full time, but that didn’t matter to them). I came up with the outline for the paper, the hypothesis and the assignments for who was responsible for what in the paper. I asked the two to make sure they sent me their parts in a week so I could put the paper together over Spring Break. Did I mention it’s only a 3-5 page paper, so not a lot of work? “Allison” is great! She had both of her assigned paragraphs done within two days. “Betty” sent me her notes (copied from WebMD) for one paragraph and a second paragraph written in first person plural (“we did this”, etc.) instead of third person (“this was done”, etc.). I rewrote her paragraphs because she wouldn’t do it (or didn’t understand what needed to be done).
A week after the intial group was formed, a fourth person was added to our group. I asked “Cindy” to write one paragraph of background material as well as the abstract for the paper. She said it would be no problem and that she would have her background part to me before Spring Break. She didn’t, and she went away for the week. She sent out an email to the group asking everyone to send her all of their work so she could write the abstract. I emailed her back telling her I still needed her part to make sure I covered what she wrote in the intro and conclusion. Still nothing from her, and it’s been a week. I asked her about it in class this week, and she said she was almost done writing MY part of the paper (the introduction). I have a feeling she might be trying to “sabotage” me because we are appling to the same program (and I have better grades).
What do I do? Write the intro and conclusion without knowing if they cover what she wrote? Keep emailing her until she gives me what I need? Just send her everything I have put together so far and let her say she had to take over as the “group leader” because I was ineffective? Do I write her part as well, and include it in what I send her so she can write the abstract?