Peer Editing the Personal Narrative

To the Editor(s): Please write your name in the table. You will receive up to five points to your class work grade. Please consider what kind of feedback you would like to receive and try to offer the same quality of feedback to your classmates. Follow the steps carefully, providing attention to detail to help the writer. Don’t limit yourself to this box: feel free to write in the body of the essay! 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. Consider if you enjoyed reading the piece -- Do you find the essay interesting? Why or why not? Has the essay fulfilled the assignment of focusing on a significant moment or significant person?


Intros & Conclusions. Did the intro make you want to keep reading? Has the author avoided sounding like a school essay? Does the conclusion wrap up the narrative? Is there a sense of having come “full circle” in the piece?


Impact. What is the main point?

How has the author been impacted/changed/inspired?

Is there a clear difference between before and after (or has the author used moments to illustrate a quality thoroughly)?


How can this be made more effective?

What could be added to make it clearer?



Language. Can you hear the author’s voice? Does it feel authentic?

Comment on the author’s use of: Dialogue, Sensory Imagery, Description (setting, events, emotions, etc.), Interesting language (similes, metaphors, etc.), Tone


Are they effectively used? Is there more showing and less telling?



Which parts of the paper detract from the purpose? What is unnecessary? In other words, is there anything that seems like it could be cut? Consider what sections drag or confuse…



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. This is the most valuable part of your editor comments. Take the time to think it through and provide good feedback. Oh, and “It’s perfect” or “I really liked it” are not suggestions. See compliments.