Professor Jo Ortel’s guidelines help students write complete and written responses to their peers’ drafts outside of class.
Guidelines for Peer Review Handout
Answer all the following questions for each paper. Write on a separate sheet, not on the draft itself. Include your name and phone number (or e-mail address) on your evaluation. Don’t worry about “surface errors” (spelling, punctuation, etc.); let the author do her own proofreading. Your job is to spot more important problems.
State what you perceive to be the major points in the paper.
Does the paper provide enough information about its topic? Does it present both sides of the issue clearly and impartially? Does the paper evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of argumentation for each side? Does the author take a stand and provide her reasons for taking that stand?
How stimulating did you find this paper? (Respond openly and honestly; be critical and helpful.) Which parts of it struck you as tamest, most obvious, or least interesting? Which parts interested you most, and why?
How fair and reasonable did you find the paper? Were there places where you felt the author was being too critical or not critical enough? Jumping to conclusions? Neglecting to cite enough evidence? Overlooking important evidence on the other side?
How readable did you find the paper? Did the author’s writing style make it easy for you to follow the train of thought, or did it sometimes get in your way? Did the organization of ideas seem logical and sensible? If there were places where you got lost, bogged down, or confused, be sure to point them out.
What would you advise the author to concentrate on when she works on her revision?
Don’t ignore a problem because you don’t want to hurt a classmate’s feelings. Express your concerns tactfully and diplomatically but completely. Be as specific as you can.
PEER RESPONSE DUE DATE, FIRST DRAFTS: APRIL 10
PEER RESPONSE DUE DATE, SECOND DRAFTS: APRIL 22