Peer Editing Guidelines

Draft deadline and submission requirements

The deadline for handing in your draft is midnight on the deadline stated on the schedule.

The mode of delivery for your draft will depend on the platform in which you are creating your project. If you are providing a hard copy draft, you need two copies (one for your peer, and one for me) and it has to be provided in class. If you are going to hand in a hard copy, it needs to be provided at the start of class that day, but remember that you can likely instead print to a pdf or scan and share a file through a system like Dropbox (it may be too large for email) if necessary. (Test in advance to make sure it works with the platform you are using.)

If you are not providing your draft in the form in which you will eventually produce it, include a copy of your digital strategy within your draft so that your editor can provide feedback on your dissemination plan in relation to your draft.

The better the draft, the more useful the feedback you’ll receive.

Peer Feedback

You will be assessed on the quality of your response to your classmate’s draft. The mechanics of providing feedback will have to be worked out depending on the choice of medium for writing. You can hand back a hard copy annotated by hand, if you like, but you’ll need to provide two copies: one for me; one for the peer on whose work you are commenting.

Failure to provide timely feedback by midnight on the due date on the course outline on the draft assigned to you will result in failure for this assignment.

General guidelines

Provide constructive and detailed written feedback designed to encourage your classmate to take their project to the next level.

Lead off with what you like about the draft and the project, and what you think works well. Be clear but supportive about what you think could be done better.

Consider the structure of the project:

  • does the title reflect the topic well?
  • are the topic of the project, its focus, and the material that it will analyze clear with a paragraph or two?
  • does the argument emerge by stages over the course of the project?
  • is the argument convincing? how could it be made more convincing?
  • Is the conclusion strong?

Consider the evidence:

  • is more research needed?
  • could the project make better use of existing sources? are there other sources of which you’re aware that might be useful?
  • does it draw on both primary and secondary sources, and provide evidence from both for major points?
  • does the evidence include some sustained close analysis of the text or of the interface, or both, of the primary source(s)?
  • are all quotations introduced with some indication (but not necessarily the title) of who is being quoted and how it connects to the argument? is the point of the quotation made clear?
  • are all sources cited, and is MLA style adhered to as well as it can be given the chosen form of dissemination?

Consider the writing and presentation:

  • is the writing clear? engaging? persuasive? what works well and what needs improvement?
  • clearly identify, if you can, a minimum of three recurrent writing problems and indicate how they should be addressed. If you cannot find three, then indicate how you think the writing or presentation could otherwise be improved.
  • flag mechanical or grammatical problems but do not undertake a full edit of the project: that is, indicate where there are problems and give some indication of what they are, but don’t go through and fix all the errors.
  • consider the presentation of the project in digital form, if applicable at this point: does it suit the project topic well? what is effective in how it is being used? could it be used more effectively?

Allot some quiet, focused time for this work. Remember to keep your feedback focused and to the point. The process of reading and commenting will take you several hours, and it should help you reflect on how you can improve your own project.

If you’d like further guidance, there are lots of online guides to writing. The Purdue Online Writing Lab has a particularly extensive and useful array of guides to everything from tons of writing resources and a whole section on MLA Style to Peer Review (designed for Purdue OWL employees, but definitely applicable to this assignment).

Good luck!

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