Peer Review

Peer review is a popular method of teaching revision. Peer review is a complex process and best practiced by acknowledging that:

  • In peer review, students will receive good and bad feedback; they need to make mature decisions regarding what will help them with their work.
  • Peer review can be done in stages; rather than tackle everything at once, reviewers can deal with one issue at a time (content, organization, grammar).
  • Peer review can be done without reading entire papers; students can focus on reading intros, sections of a paper, first halves of a paper, or some other part.
  • Peer review should be guided (with rubrics, check lists, expectations, instructions) rather than a generic “swap papers” directive
  • Peer review can be done by having students read each other’s work ahead of time, online, or in class while also putting comments into writing.

Other strategies:

  • Have students rewrite sections of each papers. The rewrites show the original writer other possibilities the student hasn’t considered regarding content or organization.
  • Have students do peer review in an online, collaborative space like a wiki.
  • Have students not correct each other’s papers, but pose questions regarding what they have just read.
  • Have students do research for each other; under-researched sections can be extended by students going online during class and helping the writer find additional sources and information.
  • Have students reorganize each other’s work.