Peer Editing Process

Peer editing serves both to allow you to become a more critical reader of other works and to offer you advice from your classmates about how your paper might be a more successful one. Please consider what kind of feedback you would like to receive and try to offer the same quality of feedback to your classmates.

  1. General Reaction -- Read your classmate's piece quickly to understand its ideas. Turn the paper over and write the number "1" in the top left hand corner. Write a few sentences addressing your first impressions about the piece of writing. Is it well organized? Has it fulfilled the assignment? (About five minutes.)
  2. A Closer Look -- Read the work more 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 with underlinings or circles. Find one sentence in the essay that best conveys its overall meaning (one might call it the "center of gravity" of the paper). Circle it. Turn the paper over and write the number "2" below your first comment. To the right of this, explain how well the essay supports the central purpose as expressed in the sentence that you have circled. Then, mention which parts of the paper detract from this purpose and explain why. You may want to write these comments in the body of the paper instead of at the end.(About 10 minutes.)
  3. Suggestions -- Write the number "3" below the other two comments and, to the right of that, offer the writer at least one specific suggestion that might help him or her to improve the essay. Think of questions that the essay may have provoked. These may be questions that your classmate will want to answer in the next draft. (Another five minutes.)
  4. Sign your name to your comments and return the essay to your classmate.
  5. Please discuss your remarks with your classmate after he or she has had adequate time to look them over. Try to be as specific as possible in explaining your remarks and suggestions.