Peer Review Guidelines
Every writer knows the feeling of getting so close to the writing that it's impossible to look at the piece objectively. The notoriously difficult process of evaluating one's own writing is especially hard immediately after one completes a draft. That's why it's wise-essential, in fact--to allow a couple of days of "cooling off" before tackling a revision.
It's also wise to get an evaluation from a peer such as a classmate or a person you trust-- someone with an educational background appropriate to your writing. Since peer evaluations are commonly used in the writing classroom, let's approach the process of peer review this way: What would you like to hear from an evaluator?
"Praise, and plenty of it!" is the universal answer that I hear from my students.
But peers usually review preliminary drafts or even rough drafts, and the purpose of such reviews is to improve the work. Praise may feel good, but constructive criticism is really much more useful.
My point is that how you review a classmate's work depends upon when you are doing the reviewing. In The Research Process I suggest guidelines for peer reviews at two different points in the writing process:
Techniques for Peer Evaluations
Revision Questions for Peer Collaborators
Editing Questions for Peer Collaborators
Some "Do's" and "Don't's" of Peer Evaluations
Return to Resources Index
|The English Department|
The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc..