Peer Review

Peer Review for Essay #1

  • Points 10
  • Submitting a file upload

This assignment is similar to what I do with rough drafts in my face to face classes in order to “workshop” essays before they are do in final form.  You will also be doing a self review that is not worth points in and of itself, but if you do not complete it, it will count against your final draft grade.  

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So what are you doing with this peer review thing, anyway?  Well…here you go:

1. No later than 11:59PM on Monday, upload a copy of your rough draft here.  If you care about being anonymous, remove your name from within your draft.  

2. No later than 11:59 on Wednesday, complete the two peer reviews that Canvas randomly assigns to you.  The questions to answer are below.  Your grade on this assignment is contingent on you uploading your paper, as well as answering the peer review questions that are below, THOROUGHLY and THOUGHTFULLY.  Very brief answers will not earn you points…don’t kill yourself writing responses on and on, but please also take some time to be clear and thoughtful and detailed.

Your responses are intended to help others in the course evaluate themselves…to tell what is strong and what might need improvement in their drafts.  Please help one another in this way.  I DO NOT look over drafts and give overall comments or do corrections for you, so make sure that your self review and this peer review assignment are done in such a way that you evaluate yourself honestly and help others improve their papers.  If you have a SPECIFIC question about your draft (no “Will you look it over and let me know what you think?” type questions!), I will answer it via Canvas Inbox.


1. Any academic paper should have a THESIS behind it…a PURPOSE behind its discussion of the topic.  Whether it is directly stated, or strongly implied, does this paper you are reviewing seem to have a thesis?  What is its thesis, if it does?  If it does not have a clear thesis, what might the reader make into the paper’s thesis?  Remember, a thesis is something arguable, NOT A STATEMENT OF FACT OR COMMON KNOWLEDGE.  For example, a thesis cannot be “Smartphones and social media take up a lot of our time and attention and can be a distraction.”  That is a factual statement!  A thesis is something that can be debated and contested and argued.

2. I am BIG on papers being very detailed and specific.  That is why you did that descriptive details assignment a couple weeks back.  Does the draft you are reading seem to have enough specific, concrete detail in it so that you the reader can “see” the places, people, and situations clearly enough?  If so, what details most impressed you?  If not, where would you like to be told more specific detail?

3. This essay should use quotes from the source readings in a significant, meaningful way, and incorporate those quotes smoothly.  Comment on the paper’s use of material from the readings.  Is the use adequate? Would you like more material from the readings to make things more “official” feeling?  Does the paper rely TOO much on quotes?  Are quotes smoothly incorporated into the text?

4. What is your sense of the paper’s grammatical correctness and flow?  Does this author need more attention on grammatical issues?  Or does it flow clearly and smoothly?

5. What is the best, strongest, most impressive aspect of this paper, and why do you feel that way?

6. DO NOT WIMP OUT ON THIS QUESTION, EVERYONE!!!  If you were to give this author one single piece of advice to improve this paper, what would it be?  (DO NOT PUT SOMETHING LIKE “IT’S GREAT AS IS.”!)

7. Ask the author of this paper any two questions.  These can be anything having to do with the paper itself, the experiences discussed within it, etc.  Just give two questions that the paper inspired.

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