Writing in First-Year Seminars

Integrating Writing

Assigning Writing

Assigning Research

Peer Review

Responding to Writing

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Thinking About Logistics

Back Back to Using Peer Review

The logistics of peer review are generally simple, but they do require some forethought. If you want students to read papers in a round-robin exercise or to exchange papers with one other student, you don't need to require any photocopying. But if you want each student to read three other papers, make sure you remind students to bring three copies of their papers to class on the day of the exchange.

You can let students pick their own peer-review partners or group members, but you might also consider assigning peer reviewers based on your knowledge of students' writing and editing skills.

If you hold in-class peer-review sessions, circulate during the session to make sure students are on track and to intervene as necessary. Also, save a few minutes at the end of the session to discuss common problems facing the class as a whole.

The instructions below are part of a worksheet distributed during a freshman composition peer-review workshop. Note how these instructions address logistics:

Directions: Write your name at the top of a separate sheet of paper. On one side, list "Reader Response," and on the other "Reading for Focus and Development," depending on which reading task you did for Part II.

PART I Responding as a Reader

Read through the writer's draft, noting in the margins any questions that occur to you. Do NOT proofread for grammar, etc. That's not your job. When finished reading, offer a written response detailing what you like about the paper and any suggestions you would offer based on your first read-through.

PART II Reading for Focus or Development

Choose to read either for focus or development. If you are a second reader, read for whichever purpose the first reader did not. Answer the following questions for "focus" or "development" on the opposite side of the paper as your reader response. Use an additional sheet if necessary.

(Click here to view this entire worksheet.)

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