In her essay “Collaboration, Control, and the Idea of a Writing Center” Andrea Lunsford lays out data she accrued from her research on collaborative writing, which is exactly what a writing workshop provides a platform for. She says, “[T]he data I amassed mirrored what my students had been telling me for years: not the research they carried out, not their dogged writing of essays, not me even, but their work in groups, their collaboration, was the most important and helpful part of their school experience.”  Her research supported the idea that collaboration also provided gains in problem finding and solving; learning abstractions; interdisciplinary thinking; sharper critical thinking; and a real bonus: a deeper understanding of others.  (See my post on the morality of writing for an expansion on this bonus result.)