Read the essay through, quickly. Then reread it with the following questions in mind. Please write extensive comments either on your peer's draft where applicable or on this handout.
If you need more room, write on the back of pages of the essay.
Does this draft respond to the assignment (i.e., persuasion of a specific audience w/ appeals to reason, character, emotion, and style where appropriate)? Explain.
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, etc.) clear and effective? Get into the margins of the draft and comment.
Has any obvious evidence/counter-evidence been overlooked?
Can you accept the writer's assumptions? Why or why not? Be specific.
Scrutinize each paragraph separately:
What is the basic point?
How does each paragraph relate to the essay's thesis?
Should some paragraphs be further developed, condensed, combined, rearranged, or deleted? (If you "outline" each paragraph by briefly stating the main topic in the margins, that will help you answer these questions more effectively.)
Is each sentence clearly related to the one preceding it--and the one that follows?
Are the introductory and concluding paragraphs effective? What works so far--and what might need revision? Please be specific in your advice.
What are this paper's major strengths?
What major revision do you think the writer of this persuasive essay should consider first?
Last but not least: mechanics. If time permits, points out errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar. Circle them for the writer, but let the writer figure out what to do about it.