Doing Peer Response
"No praise, no blame--just response." William Stafford
on our writing is one of the most important things we need as writers
to improve our writing. Feedback leads to revision which leads to more
feedback and yet more revision. With each cycle of the "writer-feedback
loop" our writing improves.
Procedures for doing
- Read the essay
AND the Draft Letter before you begin doing your peer response (if there is a draft letter).
- Follow the specific
assignment's guidelines for peer response as you respond.(Number your responses.)
these principles to guide you as you respond to your peer's writing:
1) Respond in a
constructive, respectful way
Praise those aspects of their work that deserves praise and point out
weaknesses constructively, in a voice that suggests that their work can
and will improve with work. This doesn't mean being dishonest, nor does
it mean to sanction insincere flattery.
2) Point directly
at their writing; be specific
Rather than making general and abstract comments like, "You had some
good description in here," make comments that point specifically
at their writing: "I liked the description you had in the story,
especially when you described your grandfather and that moment when he
dropped the cat."
3) Be observational;
comment as a reader (not as a teacher)
The best help you can give your peer is to serve as a good reader for
them. You need not respond in the role of the teacher or fixer of their
writing. Respond as a fellow writer and as a reader. Observe closely what
you see in their writing as well as what you experience as a reader. Being "observational"
means that you point out and notice aspects of their writing, but you
don't infer what those "facts" suggest--let the author do that.
For example, rather than saying, "You need to include a better 'lead'
for the beginning of your introduction," say, "I did not notice
a 'lead' in the beginning of your introduction." Instead of saying,
"You need to move your thesis to the end of your introduction,"
say "I noticed your thesis in the first line of you second paragraph."
4) Follow the peer
Let these questions be your guide as you respond.
Read the Writing Guide on Peer Response for more