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Assessing a Peer’s Paper

Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people of similar competence to the person authoring the work (peers). It is a collaborative process that provides support, encouragement, ideas, and reminders. We will be using peer review as a professional process to maintain quality of our final documents and to improve our writing skills. It is always good to have a second set of eyes and perspectives to improve the quality of a body of work. Share your papers on Day 3, and return comments of at least 700 words by Day 7.

Following are tips to effectively critique your peer’s paper.

  1. Review the final paper rubrics
  2. Be specific in your comments. The following website provides examples on how to write specific comments that help guide the writer to strengthen his or her paper: http://abacus.bates.edu/~ganderso/biology/resources/writing/HTWcritique.html
  3. Point out the strengths of the paper by noting specific passages that are well written.
  4. Point out where a specific area can be strengthened and in what way.
  5. Take notice of large issues such as:
    1. Is the assignment being addressed?
    2. Is the main point clear and interesting?
    3. Is there a clear focus or thesis?
    4. Is the draft organized, following the outline provided in Week 6, and does it follow a logical sequence of points?
    5. Are main ideas adequately developed?
  6. Check basic writing skills such as grammar, spelling, incomplete sentences, over-run sentences, word choice, confusing sentences, etc.
  7. Time is limited, so focus on areas that will give the peer the most benefit to improve the paper.

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