Peer Review

  • Today I want you to get in groups of 3 (you choose your group).
  • Everyone will be expected to read and comment on at least two papers (The third one is for me).
  • First, trade papers with your peer groups (remember 3 writers to a group)
  • Read your peer's paper without writing on it. Try to get an overall feel for what he or she is trying to say.
  • Now that you have gotten a feel for what the writer is trying to communicate, think about whether or not they have effectively communicated their point.

Consider key elements of revision:

  1. One or two sentences that explain what the overall message or point is. What should readers be able to take away from reading this?
  2. At least one thing you like about the paper. What did the writer do especially well?
  3. At least one thing that you are unsure about, having trouble with, or that still needs work.
  • Read the draft again, this time with the key elements in mind.
  • Some questions to consider while rereading:
    • Is the writer communicating what he/she wanted to communicate?
    • Are there any parts of the writing that seem unclear or confusing? Mark these places in the margin and explain your confusion.
    • Where are the places when the writing is particularly good or effective? Mark these too and explain why you like them or find them effective.
    • Does the writing need more explanation, less explanation, or does the flow need to be reworked? Are there any parts that seem "out of place"?
    • Do not mark spelling errors or grammar errors or punctuation problems unless they interfere with your understanding. This is a draft and revising and editing are two different things. Today we are revising.
  • Move on to your other peer group paper and repeat.

Remember: You are the author of your writing. Letting someone comment on your writing can be helpful because it lets you get a perspective from another reader who is not you. Often, if two readers make the same comments, it is an indication that others might react the same way. However, if you do not agree with something a peer says or writes - if you do not want to make a particular change that someone suggests - then don't! You have the final say. Most important to revision is that you understand why you do or do not make a change.


  • Go over the comments you've received on your paper.
  • Make changes according to how well you think your readers understood what you were trying to communicate to them.
  • Think about your intended audience and adjust your paper to better express yourself to whomever that audience may be.
  • We will be discussing editing on Thursday. You can bring in a copy of your paper to edit, if you are at the appropriate stage in your writing for that. Do not begin editing your paper if you are still revising it!
  • If you would rather begin by editing your Issues Watch Documents, then bring those.
  • Read Reflective Overview Instructions and be prepared to discuss this component of your portfolio.