ASSIGNMENT: PEER FEEDBACK
Once you have posted your annotated bibliography, you will be assigned the drafts of two of your peers to review. Timely and thoughtful completion of the requirements below will count toward 10% of your final project grade.
Your comments should be at least 200 words each for each of the two peers you choose, so comments like “good job” won’t get credit for this assignment. Follow the guidelines below when drafting your comments. I suggest that you write both of your peer comments in a Microsoft Word document and then reply to each peer’s draft, cutting and pasting your comments into the reply.
1. Consider the tone your feedback. Your job is to be helpful and friendly, and you should receive the same treatment in return. Choose your words carefully when giving feedback—your job is not to judge someone else’s work, but to let the writer know what is working in the piece of writing and what could use some tweaking. Be sure to reread your feedback before posting it. Think about how you would react to the feedback you just wrote—would it be helpful to you? Revise until your answer is yes!
2. Balance praise and criticism. Try to tell the writer as many things that are working in the piece as things that need work. Everyone likes to know what they are doing well, but they also need to know what is not working or could be improved for the reader.
3. Be specific. General comments such as “Great job,” “I’m confused,” and “Clarify” are not specific enough to be helpful. A specific comment should do two things: 1. Locate a place in the piece of writing you are referring to, and 2. Explain why you are commenting on this location. A comment that uses this structure would look something like this: “Your thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph clearly covers the first two points you make in your first two body paragraphs. It does not cover the third point, though, so I wonder if you could revise the end of the sentence to include it. The revision could be written this way: …”
4. Make suggestions for revision. When you do find something that needs some work, let the writer know how they can fix the issues. If something needs to be added, what should it be? If something needs to be removed, what specifically should be removed?
5. Comment on the writing, not the views expressed. Peer feedback is not a forum for arguing about the subject of the piece of writing. You might totally disagree with the views expressed by the writer, but your job as a peer is to keep your comments focused on how the piece is written and how the argument is made.
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