Peer Review on a Course Paper

| February 5, 2015

Peer review assignment

The writing assignment is to submit a peer reviewof one of the other student’s paper.

Please note that your review should be anonymous. That is, your name should not appear anywhere in the text of the review nor in the properties of the submitted file.

The goal of a peer review:

  1. It is a great opportunity to learn how to better write your own papers by editing another’s. The idea is that both you and the other student will benefit from this exercise. You will benefit by reading the ideas from another paper, which might help you improve your own writing skills; the other student will benefit from reading your constructive criticism.
  2. The peer review teaches you to be critical readers. In addition, reviewers can give each other encouragement and share new ideas and new strategies for writing.

Remember that revising does not mean editing. You should suggest to one another: tightening up or shifting focus, clarifying purpose, cutting, adding, reorganizing, taking the conclusion as new introduction and starting over, etc. Until you’ve talked through large-scale issues, there is no sense to discus grammar and mechanics.

Your review should take the form of a written critique which accomplishes the following:

· Provide a brief (say, one paragraph) summary of your general opinion of the effectiveness of the paper. Were there things about it that you liked? Did it meet its intended goal?

· Mention what was in it that that particularly stands out to you (either good or bad). Be specific on those points.

· Provide a letter score (between C and A) using the following criteria andchecklist guidelinesprovided at the bottom of this document:

A.This paper is insightful. It addresses the assignment in a way that indicates a student’ comprehension of and control over the assignment itself as well as an understanding of the underlying issues. The message is communicated clearly, concisely, and directly. There is a confidence in this writing.

B.The paper meets, and at times, exceeds the basic requirements of the assignment. The paper indicates that a student is beginning, at times, to think through and deal with major ideas in the assignment. The message is communicated with generally effective clarity, directness, and conciseness.

C.While the paper offers little insight into the greater issues of the assignment, it meets the basic requirements. The message, for the most part, is reasonably clear, concise, and direct, although there are some problems with a student’ writing.

· Offer suggestions – as specific as you can be – as to how the fellow student could improve on the characteristics that you identified as most in need of improvement.

· I think it will probably take you about 1 page to include all that information, but there is no set length requirement – use as much or as little space as you require to do the job properly.

Please try to be helpful and constructivein your comments. Your goal is to help the fellow student improve the paper writing skills. It is not constructive to say “this paper is a mess.” It is constructive to say “The organization of this paper needs improvement, and I think it could best be improved by…[give suggestions, as specific as possible].” You should give your honest assessment of the work you are reading, but while being honest you should still provide your criticism in a constructive manner

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