a peer review activity for responses to Bailey’s essay
Connection to Course Goals
Reviewing claims will help students
understand that their response needs to make an overall point. This will also
help students focus their ideas and organize their response. The peer review
activity will help students reflect on their own writing by looking critically
at other students’ responses. It will also get students thinking toward the
Introduction: Write an introduction for today’s lesson. For
assistance, look at the section on writing introductions and conclusions from
the guide on Planning a Class located in the Teaching Guides on Writing@CSU
You can also find a copy of the Guide in your appendix.
using claims to shape responses (15 minutes):The goal for this
activity is to help students make an overall point with their writing by
considering how claims can “map out” a response. (In the past, students have
written analytic responses that read like “generalized lists” - i.e. the author’s
tone is good… the organization is effective… the evidence could use some
work…). Here, we are trying to help students move beyond generalized responses
to think more about their purpose/focus and organization.
Use the claims below (or ones that you
generate) to model how a claim can help a writer connect main their points and
create a “map” by which to organize their writing. Put these claims on an
overhead and ask students to outline what the paper might look like based on
what the claim says.
Singer’s essay is pretty good, but I didn’t
like the examples he used and I doubt whether he himself even gives money to
the organizations he discusses. Overall, I found his attitude to be a problem
Why this is ineffective:
Language is too generalized - what does
the writer mean by “good” and “I didn’t like” and “attitude”?
The statement following, “I doubt
whether…” is a gut reaction and can’t be sufficiently developed with
The writer has named too many criteria to
develop with reasons and evidence. (The writer needs to prove that: (1)
the argument is “good,” (2) the examples were ineffective, (3) Singer
doesn’t give money to charities, and (4) Singer’s “attitude” is a problem.
Proving all of this is too much for a four-page essay.)
Bailey appeals to readers of the National
Review by using language that they can relate to, but his argument lacks
the support it needs to convince all readers that global warming is not a
Peter Singer makes an argument about an
important issue, but his offensive use of language throughout and his
unsubstantial use of evidence made me shy away from the prospect of donating
money to overseas charities.
Why these are effective:
Writers uses specific language “appeals
to readers of the National Review”
Writers combine their observations to
make an overall point that indicates whether or not the essay was/was not
effective (avoids sounding like a list)
Writers’ ideas can reasonably be handled
in a four page paper
** Ask students how each response might look
based on these claims. How would the reader develop these points? What examples
from the text could he/she use to develop each point? You might draw up an
outline for each.
2.Review Use of Author Tags, Quotations,
and Paraphrases (10 minutes): Create your own activity here.
review activity for responses to Bailey (20 minutes):Have students pair up and exchange their analytic responses to Bailey’s
argument (completed for homework). Allow them 15 - 20 minutes to provide
feedback for each other’s response. Then, allow them 5 - 10 minutes to discuss
these in pairs. You may use the questions below or develop your own.
Questions for peer review activity:
the writer’s claim. Is the claim narrow and specific enough? Does it
communicate an overall point or main idea? Does the claim accurately represent
the points raised in the response? Write down one or two suggestions for how
the writer could strengthen their claim.
criteria for evaluation does the writer examine in their response? Are these
criteria fitting given Bailey’s argument and his audience? Does the writer
avoid “listing” criteria by limiting their response to one or two well
writer provide clear reasons and evidence to develop and support claim? Mark
places where the writer has provided sufficient support. Then, mark places
where the writer could develop their reasons and evidence further. Can you give
any suggestions for how the writer could develop these points?
might the writer improve the overall focus and organization of their response?
Are there places where the writing strays from the claim? Could certain points
be eliminated or moved to improve the organization?
on the writer’s use of author tags, quotations, and paraphrases. Suggest
strategies, if appropriate, for improvements.
on two things that the response is doing well.
Time Permits: Have students decide
which essay they’ll revise for portfolio one and give them time to look over
their original essays and jot down plans for revision. Let students know that
revisions should be substantial. They can use their homework as draft work and
take pieces of that writing, but they need to do more than “tweak” or “add on a
few lines” to succeed with portfolio one.
Begin drafting your final essay for portfolio one. Come to
class with any questions or concerns that arise when you’re writing.
Note to instructors: You should
read the Teaching Guide on Planning Workshops and Peer Review on Writing@CSU (http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/peer/).
The guide is also available in print format in the appendix. Use the
guide to help you decide ahead of time how you’d like to facilitate the in
class workshop for essay one.