When a classmate asks you to review their paper and provide feedback, you should take that task seriously. It is important to provide honest feedback, so you want to avoid being overly critical or giving nonspecific feedback. Doing that will not help your classmate make effective revisions. Obtaining a peer review is an opportunity to test your writing before you submit it for a grade. Feedback may be verbal or written.
Here are some guidelines you and your classmates can use to review one another’s writing:
Exchange copies of your writing with your peers. In most word processing programs, you can provide “review” privileges, allowing your classmate to make comments without changing your text.
Try to answer the following questions when reviewing your peers’ papers:
Does the writer use a clear and direct prose style?
As a peer reviewer, should you focus on grammar issues? Not at this time. While having the final draft free of grammar and mechanics errors is important, this is not the main focus of peer reviewing. However, if you notice that the draft has grammar errors that hinder the readers, make a note of that for the student writer.
You also want to want to remember some tips when you receive feedback from the peer reviewer:
When you hand over your paper to a peer reviewer, don’t spend time apologizing for its content or your presentation of the information.
Don’t tell your reviewer what kind of responses you want to hear and explain or defend something in your paper.
Listen carefully to the feedback and take notes for future revisions. Don’t interrupt the reviewer except to ask for clarification. If you have received your feedback in writing, review the comments carefully a time or two, and then ask for clarification if you don’t understand a comment.