Responding to Classmates
- Select a classmate’s thread and download his/her attached draft.
- Reply to his/her thread to indicate the draft is under review (i.e. John Dow is currently reviewing the document). Do not select the paper if someone else is already reviewing.
- Read the draft carefully and respond to the questions listed below, either in a new document or at the top of your classmate’s document. At the very least, you must answer the questions, but you can also use the “Comment” function in Microsoft Word to write comments to your classmates within the essay (put your cursor where you want the comment, go to the “Review” tab in Microsoft Word, and select “New Comment”).
- Complete the review and save the document to your computer.
- Once you have completed the review, reply to your classmate’s thread and upload the review.
Questions for Peer Review
1. Read your peer’s essay from beginning to end just to let its ideas wash over you. What are your initial thoughts? Did your peer satisfy the requirements of assignment? Please explain in detail.
2. Review the essay’s title as well as its introduction and conclusion. Think about the relationships among these three components. Do they match or do they disagree? Make note of strengths or weaknesses in these crucial areas. Please explain in detail.
3. Find the essay’s thesis. Is it clear? Is it well positioned? Paraphrase (put in your own words) the thesis of the essay to check your understanding. Review the assignment guidelines to ensure that your peer’s thesis is on target. Make note of strengths or weaknesses in this area. Please explain in detail.
4. Focus on the individual paragraphs of the essay. Does each paragraph have a topic sentence that previews the ideas of the paragraph? Observe the essay’s development of paragraphs. Does each paragraph have a single main idea that relates to the thesis? Are there any paragraphs that seem disconnected or out of place?
5. Consider the essay’s use of the English language. Are sentence structures, grammar, spelling, punctuation and mechanics employed effectively, or do errors distract the reader from understanding and enjoying the writer’s analysis? Make note of strengths and weaknesses in this area. Please explain in detail.
Remember: When in doubt about how to do the peer review, be honest, helpful, and constructive. Saying “Great job! Don’t change a word!” never helped anyone to be a better writer.