What is it?
Why do it?
A practice session
Our first peer review assignment
More about peer review
What is it?
Peer review occurs when one person reads the writing of another and gives
feedback. The review can be focused (looking at the writing for organization or
for conventions only) or it can be general (looking at the writing for its
overall strengths and weaknesses). Feedback can be verbal or written. Email is a
great tool to use for peer review. When a student publishes his or her writing
on the web, others can email him or her with their comments. A communication
between the two, between reader and writer, can continue with email very easily.
Why do it?
One main problem writers face when beginning the revision process is that
they have trouble gaining an objective perspective. It's hard to see our own
writing as it really is. Instead, because we know how we want it to be, we tend
to unconsciously make logical connections where there are none, we read
sentences as complete or meaningful even if they confuse others, and we fill in
the places where words or connections are missing.
So, when someone who does not know what our intentions were reads our
writing, he or she can give an honest opinion. She may say, "This is a really
interesting idea, but here, in your third paragraph, I don't know what you are
trying to say. What is this part supposed to mean?" This advice can help writers
improve the clarity and meaning of their writing.
Peer review is the first step in audience feedback. When we publish our work
on the web, this feedback can come from anywhere. Publishing on the web also
gives writers the motivation they need to make sure their writing makes sense.
Using Six Traits
This project was created by two Teachers College student teachers: Tracy
Higashi and Lee Spilberg. They created a great
peer review project.
Thanks to Ted Nellen for this link.
first peer review assignment
Follow these directions carefully.
- Send an email to your cyber partner telling him or her which piece of
writing you'd like reviewed. Be clear about where to find it. Also, tell
your cyber partner which three traits you'd like him or her to assess for
you. Do not choose presentation. CyberJournal entries are not eligible for
- When you get your email from your cyber partner, make sure you have the
proper materials at hand (either on paper or on your computer desktop): 1.
the correct rubric--choose either narrative
or informative [Go to the rubrics] and 2.
response tools, either NCTE or using six
traits (see above).
- Open a new Word document and save it as "peer review" on your
- Read your cyber partner's writing. Now read it again.
- In your peer review document in Word, begin writing your response. First,
write this: I am reviewing your piece titled, "put title here."
Then, respond in general using the response tools. When you make comments
about the writing, be sure you give examples from the writing that show what
you mean. You can copy and paste these right from the web page into the Word
document. Use quotation marks around passages that you take from the
writer's piece. Write in paragraphs.
- Using the correct rubric, score the piece of writing for the three traits
your cyber partner requested. You can simply make a list. Example:
ideas/content--3; conventions--2; organization--3. Be sure you believe in
the scoring before you commit to it.
- Take this seriously. You will want a fair peer response for your writing,
so take care that you do a good job with what your cyber partner has
- Proofread your own work. Save the Word document often.
- Then, when you have done your best work, send the Word document as an
attachment to your cyber partner. Subject line: peer
review. Send a copy to me.
- After you have read your peer review and your cyber partner has read his
or hers from you, write back. In this email, you can do any of the
following: 1. thank him/her for the review and for (refer to something
specific that you appreciated), 2. ask him/her to explain further or clarify
something he/she said that you aren't sure about, 3. ask for further help
with something you are struggling with or ask for suggestions about what you
could do to improve (something specific not general). Also, send a copy of
this email to me. Subject line: talking back
- Any further conversations that you have with your cyber partner about your
writing and this peer review experience are encouraged but are not required.
- Peer Review Assessment Tool
Which Rubric to use?
Use the narrative rubric for the letter from a character or the novel
Use the informative rubric for everything else.
From Ted Nellen
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