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Peer Editing Strategies

Page history last edited by Don Pogreba 11 years, 10 months ago

Questions for Self or Peer Review       

Writer's Name __________________ Editor's Name _______________


1. What is this writer’s purpose? How can you tell?

2. Does the writer achieve this purpose effectively? Why or why not? What techniques does the writer use to help achieve the purpose?

3. Identify any places where the writer’s ideas are unclear. How could the writer clarify these points?

4. What is the writer’s thesis statement (main argument)? Does the writer return to this argument consistently throughout the paper? If not, where does the argument start to unravel?

5. Where would you like the writer to have provided more information?

6. Are there any factual mistakes or logical inconsistencies? If so, where are they and why are they problematic?

7. Evaluate the writing itself. Is the paper easy to read? Are there particular grammatical issues that you noticed? How distracting did you find these issues?

8. Who is the intended audience of the paper? How can you tell?

9. Name two strengths of the paper. Was there a particularly memorable detail?

10. Name two weaknesses of the paper. Are there any strategies you can suggest to the writer to help him/her remedy these weaknesses?



Peer Editing Tips

From:  The Longwood Guide to Writing  by Ronald F. Lunsford and Bill Bridges (pages 78-9)

1. Read a given paper once without marking anything on it.  Read it as a whole, paying attention to its impact on you.  Then read it again, this time marking your responses to the critique sheet on the paper itself.

     a. PURPOSE.  What is the essay's purpose? How effectively has the writer achieved it?

     b. STRENGTHS.  What do you think is particularly effective about the paper? Identify at least two aspects of the essay that work well and tell the writer why you think they're effective.

     c. WEAKNESSES.  What seems ineffective?  Identify at least two aspects of the essay that need work and make specific suggestions for revision.

     d. ESSAY STRUCTURE.  Identify the paper's beginning, middle, and end, describing what the writer has done in each section.  How effective is each section? What makes it so? Make specific suggestions for revision.

     e. PARAGRAPH STRUCTURE.  How effectively is each paragraph structured? Does each have a topic sentence? How effectively is that topic sentence supported? Make specific suggestions for revision.

     f. SENTENCE STRUCTURE. How varied are the sentences (length, word order)? How effectively does each sentence fulfill the writer's purpose? How effectively has the writer used such devices as transition and repetition of key terms to create connections between and among sentences?  Make specific suggestions for revision.

     g. DETAILS AND WORD CHOICE.  How effective are the details the writer has chosen? Are there specific words or phrases that don't support the writer's purpose? Make specific suggestions for revision.

     h. OVERALL ASSESSMENT.  When you've finished responding to the various parts of the paper, write a statement giving your final impressions of the paper, summarizing its strengths and offering the writer suggestions for improvement.


Writer __________________

Title ____________________

Editor ___________________

Editor ___________________




Peer Edit Check Sheet

                            Essay Title:



Our goal is to provide specific and constructive feedback.  Write on the paper and on this check sheet.  Read critically, but avoid (unwarranted) criticism.

1.    What stands out as the most successful feature of the essay?

2.    Can you suggest improvements for the introduction?

3.    Identify the essay’s thesis:

4.    Comment as to its overt / implied nature:

5.    Can you suggest improvements for the thesis?

6.    Do the topics and idea development in the body paragraphs illustrate, argue and support the thesis?

7.    Does the author employ effective rhetorical strategies?

8.    How can the conclusion be strengthened?

9.    Do you have other suggestions for the author?

10.  How has this editing process helped you with your own writing?




Revision Checklists

From: James Reinking, Andrew Hart, and Robert Osten, Strategies for Successful Writing.



1. Does the paragraph have one central idea?

2. Does the central idea help to develop the thesis statement?

3. Does each statement with the paragraph help to develop the central idea?

4. Does the paragraph need additional explanations, examples, or supporting details?

5. Would cutting some material make the paragraph stronger?

6. Would reorganization make the ideas easier to follow?

7. Can the connections between successive sentences be improved?

8. Is each paragraph clearly and smoothly related to those that precede and follow it?



1. What sentences are not clearly expressed or logically constructed?

2. What sentences seem awkward, excessively convoluted, or lacking in punch?

3. What words require explanation or substitution because the reader may not know them?

4. Where does my writing become wordy or use vague terms?

5. Where have I carelessly omitted words or mistakenly used the wrong word?


Essay Editing Checklist - Self or Peer


  • Do I have a clear thesis? Does it synthesize the main points of my argument in a sophisticated way?
  • Does the body of my paper respond to my thesis? Does each paragraph play a clear role toward arguing my thesis? Do I make my thesis evident throughout?
  • Did I incorporate quotes as proof of my claims? Do I react to them sufficiently and explain their significance in relationship to my argument?
  • Did I include a conclusion? Does it logically follow my paper and move beyond mere reiteration?
  • Does each paragraph flow nicely to the next? Did I include transitions between paragraphs to aid in the flow of my argument?
  • Does my paper "sound" like an academic paper? Does it avoid informal, colloquial, and unnecessary language? Does it clearly and succinctly get to the point?
  • Did I answer the essay question? Does my paper meet the page requirements?


Editor's Comments Worksheet

Writer's Name: ________________________________Reviewer's Name: ________________________________Paper Title: ________________________________

Caveat: Remember that the purpose of peer editing is to "read" the writing from a peer perspective.  Listen to the sentence structure and the argument and offer comments designed to assist the writer to improve.  Offer specifics rather than fuzzy platitudes.

First Impressions

What do you like most about the paper? What particularly impressed you when you read it?

How well does the paper achieve its purpose, that is, how well does it meet the goals of the assignment - the task of the prompt?

Looking Closely

The main argument of the paper is that ....

The argument is (plausible, boring, obvious, interesting, compelling, contradictory,...)  Why?

What questions does the paper raise?

What additional information, discussion or examples would you have liked to have seen? Can you suggest some details that the writer might mention?

What suggestions can you make for focusing the topic? Should the focus be narrower? Does the paper need a sharper thesis? Is the writer trying to prove too much? What about the order? tone? word choice? sentence beginnings? sentence lengths? sentence structures?


The writer refers to the text he or she is working on (in terms of quotations and information to support assertions) ... (effectively, scantily, incorrectly, disruptively)

Each body paragraph starts with a topic sentence ________ that makes a single claim _________and supports the claim with effective quotations _______ and analysis __________ -- provide yes or no responses on the blanks.

Language, Diction, Syntax

How effectively does the writer use language/word choice to convey ideas?

Are sentences clear and readable?  Are they fluid and coherent? Did the writer use a variety of sentence structures?

General Comments (one paragraph):  What works?  What needs work? Use the back of this page.




Additional Resources

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