Guidelines for Peer Reviews

Why Peer Review? Most writers depend upon feedback from good readers to improve their work, and learn from reading and commenting upon other author's texts. We encourage these habits and skills at PLU, and ask you to "Peer Review" (review and critique each other's work, especially in draft form) in many classes. Peer Review is taken seriously: your role is to help the author improve the piece and the quality of work it represents. You can, for example, improve a work's:

Approaching Peer Review, and reading the draft:
  1. Take it seriously. Doing and receiving Peer Reviews make you a better reader/writer/thinker, and contribute substantially to your overall success at the university. Besides, these Peer Reviews are graded.
  2. Know the assignment. Student writers often misunderstand the assignment, or write on a tangent taken from the assignment. Make sure that you understand the assignment, so that you can help keep the author on track.
  3. Intend to be constructive. Approach the piece with the intention of building it up, not tearing it apart, and as you would want a reviewer to critique your own work.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the piece. Read the piece over once before beginning to comment so that you get a feel for it generally before making specific suggestions.
  5. Make notes on the paper. This will help you and the author locate your points as you write, and the author reads, your Peer Review.
  6. Understand the piece before critiquing it, or at least understand what it is that you don't get. Make sure that you read carefully. If, after a careful reading and re-reading, you can't understand what the author is doing or saying, say so (and point out where and why)!


Writing a Peer Reviews for Writ. 101 01, Healing (adapted from Susan K. Nelson). Peer Reviews of Portfolio Assignments are two pages in length, typed and double spaced (12 font). Two copies are due the next class period after the first draft of the essay (check the syllabus for exact dates). It is critical that you attend class on both the day that the first draft is due and the day that the peer critique is due, so that you will be available to exchange papers with your partner. Absolutely no peer critiques are accepted late without prior arrangements. Here are some general guidelines: