Peer Editing for Definition Essay

To the Editor(s): Please write your name in the table. Please consider what kind of feedback you would like to receive and try to offer the same quality of feedback to your classmates. Read the work slowly, putting checks by the more effective parts of it and putting question marks by the parts that are unclear to you.  Circle any spelling or capitalization errors, and note any other mechanical problems by underlining or circling.



Editor  Name


General Reaction -- Read your classmate's piece quickly to understand its ideas. Write a few sentences addressing your first impressions about it. Is it well organized?

Has it fulfilled the assignment of defining a word or term? Was the essay entertaining? If not, what needs to be done to it?


What is the main point? In other words: how is the word/term being defined through the author’s perspective? What is the dominant impression? What stands out the most about this word/concept?


Check that the sentences in each paragraph stick to a main idea, that they aren’t scattered all over. Each piece of evidence should support their thesis. Please indicate if there is any fluff.


Has what the readers already know, or think they know, about the word/term been considered and addressed? Have popular misconceptions been done away with? Did you see the word/phrase in a new light?


Has the author included particular experiences/examples helped you understand the topic?

How could they be stronger? Clearer?


Are there aspects of the topic that are seldom considered?

What are they?


Has the history or background of the word been included?



Which parts of the paper detract from the purpose?

What is unnecessary? Make sure the writing is concise and to the point. Take out any words, phrase, or ideas that are repeated unnecessarily, which sound flowery, or which “pad” rather than add to the definition.



Has the writer composed a strong intro with a creative attention grabber that makes the reader want to read more? Is  the conclusion strong?


Has the author used many of the elements discussed in class to expand their definition? For instance: personification, analogies, word pictures, connotations, quotations, media use, etc.


Suggestions: Offer the writer at least two specific suggestions that might help him or her to improve the essay. Think of questions you had while reading: did it make sense? Were you able to follow along? These may be questions that your classmate will want to answer in the next draft. Please do not write, “It was good,” or something like that. Please offer suggestions for improvement.

What compliment can you give this writer?