Read the essay through, quickly. Then read it again, with the following questions in mind. Please write extensive comments either on your workshop partner's draft where applicable or on this handout. If you need more room, continue writing on the back of this page.
Does this draft respond to the assignment? (Argument of a debatable issue with Rogerian slant?)
Looking at the essay as whole, what thesis (main point including writer's opinion) is advanced? Please underline the thesis on your workshop partner's draft. If it is implied only, jot down what you perceive to be the thesis here.
Are the needs of the audience kept in mind? For instance, do some concepts or words need to be defined? Is the evidence (examples, testimony of authorities, personal observations) clear and effective? Get into the margins of the draft and comment.
Is any obvious evidence (or counter-evidence) overlooked?
Can you accept the writer's assumptions? If not, why not? Please be honest and specific.
Looking at each paragraph separately:
What is the basic point?
How does each paragraph relate to the essay's main idea or the previous paragraph?
Should some paragraphs be deleted? Be divided into two or more paragraphs? Be combined? Be put elsewhere? (If you outline the essay by jolting down the gist of each paragraph, you will get help in answering these questions.)
Is each sentence clearly related to the sentence that precedes it and to the sentence that follows?
Is each paragraph adequately developed? Are there sufficient details, perhaps brief quotations or paraphrases from credible sources?
Are the introductory and concluding paragraphs effective?
What are the paper's main strengths?
Make at least one specific suggestion that you think will assist the author to improve the paper.
Last but not least--mechanics. If time permits, point out errors in spelling or grammar that distract from the argument of this draft.