Peer Review Guidelines—Free Speech Essay

The purpose of peer review is for you to help each other advance beyond the current draft toward the finished paper. To best achieve this purpose, try first to describe what this draft is doing and then move on to suggestions for making the paper more effective. Your goal is not to judge but rather to mirror and offer specific advice. For this week’s workshop (9/23-9/26), upload your draft. After you upload your draft, you’ll be randomly assigned to review drafts of three of your classmates’ papers, and you’ll find them at the same link where you submitted your paper. Use the form below to respond to the draft.

Peer Editing WORKSHOP:

By Tuesday 9/24 at midnight: Upload rough Draft of Essay #1. After you upload your draft, you should receive classmates’ drafts to edit at that same link.

By Thurs. 9/26 at midnight: Responses due to two other students’ drafts.

Peer Editing Instructions:

  1. Read through the draft quickly. If you’re having trouble focusing, read the essay outloud. My approach to editing online: use all capital letters to make comments. I may put parentheses around something the writer should omit. I may put an * next to some type of error. It’s good to comment on both what you thought worked well, and what didn’t work so well or was confusing.

General Comment: Writea quick list of dominant impressions. What stands out? What examples or phrases are particularly vivid? What strikes you as most illuminating about the analysis? What do you like about the draft?): _____________________________________

  1. Read silently through the paper again. What is the strong point of this paper? What do you like the most?
  1. What new insight does this paper give or suggest about a particular aspect of free speech and situations in which it might or might not be limited?
  1. What suggestions do you have to help the writer appeal to his or her audience?
  1. How is the essay organized and how could this be improved?
  1. Try to paraphrase the purpose or thesis of this paper. If you’re not sure what the main point is, try to offer some advice to help the writer clarify and build a thesis.
  1. What ways might the writer improve the focus? How does the writer build upon a particular essay we read in class? Which essay is he or she focusing on? What could the writer do to broaden or narrow the topic in order to make the paper better? How can the writer go into greater depth with his or her analysis?
  1. What are some ways that this paper relies on evidence for support? How has the writer incorporated quotes from the class readings? How has the writer drawn from specific cases and definitions from the reading in order to ground his or her argument upon known facts, examples, and precedents?

  1. What more about this topic would you like to know that the writer does not tell you?
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