Peer Review

Peer Review in Any Class

For in-person classes, hard copies work best! For synchronous, remote classes, breakout rooms are perfect.

Guidelines for Students

As students in a peer review session, you are not responding to each other's writing as teachers or as editors. You are not grading the paper, rewriting the paper, telling the writer what "I would do," or looking to "fix" anything. Instead, you are reading as readers.

As a reader, you'll start by considering what you notice. What are you first impressions? What is the main idea? Is there a passage you think is especially clear or interesting? If so, why? Is anything redundant? Unclear?

Other questions could include: What happens over the course the essay? What is developed or deepened? What do you want to know more about? Does anything seem unrelated or unconnected? If so, is that because the writer hasn't yet made that connection explicit or is it because the writer introduced a new topic that seems altogether separate?

When You're the Writer

Rather than interrupt, defend, or explain that you "get to that on page 4," just listen. If you have specific questions, wait to hear the initial feedback first.

When You're the Reader

Read the whole essay all the way through. Use a kind of short hand, such as a check mark next to clear or interesting points and a squiggly line to indicate any unclear passages or awkward phrasing. Is there a clear main idea or thesis? Can you repeat this back to the writer in your own words? Do you understand both what each paragraph says (in terms of the language) and does (in terms of developing the essay)?

Now What?

If you get stuck, consider reading different passages aloud. Then make a plan for at least three changes each student is going to make in the next version.