Model Effective Commenting
As you model how to give effective commentary in peer review, remind students of the following points:
- Always point out strengths as well as elements that need more work.
- Try to attend to larger issues first (audience, purpose, organization, detail, etc.). Talk about sentences, word choices, punctuation only late in the peer-review process.
- Be specific. Point to particular places in the paper where revision will be helpful.
- Don't hesitate to respond as a reader, especially early in the review process, for example,
- I got confused here.
- I saw your point clearly here.
- I was convinced by your example or analogy or argument.
- If you disagree with the comments of another peer reviewer, say so. Not all readers react the same ways, and divergent points of view can help writers see options for revising.
- Make comments in spirit of helpfulness. Take comments in spirit of helpfulness.