Reviewing Your Plan with Others

Because most ideas are incompletely thought out when conceived, it is always a good idea to get feedback on what you plan to write. Your intended audience will provide the best feedback, but peer reviewers and your teacher can assist you. Discussing your writing project plan with your teacher or your classmates can be useful if they are your intended audience. You can discuss your plans informally in class or by using telecommunications technology available to you and your classmates, such as course conferences, e-mail, and fax.

If you review your entire writing plan and your outline with others, you may gain insight into planning tasks you may have missed or items you have overlooked. For example, you may discover from another student that there is a World Wide Web site that offers an up-to-date resource for information. Most teachers can give you valuable feedback and are willing to review preliminary plans and outlines ahead of the due dates for the assignments.

When you ask another person for a review, whether a peer reviewer or a teacher, it's a good idea to have in mind what you would like that person to review for you. To get the most effective feedback from a reviewer, even at the planning stage, you should list the items you would like the reviewer to check. Here is an example of a list of items one writer prepared for reviewers. The writer used the feedback from this checklist to revise the writing project plan.

Checklist for Reviewer(s)

Audience, Purpose, and Scope

____  Is the thesis statement clear and focused on one major idea?
____  Is the intent and purpose clearly expressed?
____  Is the target audience clearly defined? The secondary audience?
____  Does the scope seem appropriate for this writing project?

Research

____  Does the research seem to be appropriate and logical?
____  Does the methodology for researching and writing this assignment make sense?
____  Are the resources varied and logical?

Content and Organization

____  Does the controlling idea seem to be sufficiently developed?
____  Are the major parts clearly defined?
____  Are the major parts logically sequenced to fit the purpose?
____  Do the minor parts support the major statements?

Schedule

____  Does the plan include scheduled dates for research and writing?
____  Does the schedule seem reasonable?
____  Does the schedule include time for reviewing and revising the writing project?

   Print Checklist   

A final note about your writing project plan: using our model, you can revise your plan and submit it to your teacher as an informal progress report. On your plan, you would note what changes you have made to the content, outline, and schedule for completing the work, noting what work you have already completed.