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Conducting Peer Review


Peer review writing workshops can provide a valuable learning experience for students. Workshops are a staple of most composition classrooms, but they can be used to enhance learning through writing in any discipline. The resources on this page will help you to understand what peer workshops are and how you can integrate them into your course.


Collaborative Learning/Learning with Peers (The Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, Dartmouth College)
This handout discusses the purposes, approaches and issues involved in collaborative learning in the writing classroom.

Conducting Writing Workshops (The Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, Dartmouth College)
“The writing workshop is the heart of the successful writing classroom. In these workshops, instructors use student papers (in part or in whole) as the basis of discussion and instruction. Talking about student writing in class signals to your students that their writing is important. Treating student writing as one of the many course texts lets them know that they have, indeed, entered into the ongoing conversation of scholarship.”

Creating Effective Peer Response Workshops (Univ. of Minnesota Center for Writing)
“In courses where the primary instructional focus is not on writing, instructors may question whether the benefits of peer collaboration are worth the time and planning it requires. The following is intended to help these instructors to make informed decisions about whether or not to include peer workshop activity in their courses.” This page provides responses to these questions: (1) What do student writers get from effectively run peer response workshops? (2) What do instructors get from effectively run peer response workshops? (3) What are the potential drawbacks of using peer response workshops? (4) How do peer workshops work? (5) How long does all this take? and (6) What will make peer response workshops fail?

Peer Review: Commenting Strategies (Univ. of Minnesota)
This YouTube video focuses on the role and responsibilities of a peer reviewer. Strategies for commenting include: ask reader-based questions, focus on global before local aspects, use the language of assignment criteria, offer constructive criticism and “I statements,” avoid the “sounds good”

Peer Review Presentation (OWL at Purdue)
“This presentation is designed to acquaint your students with the concept of peer review. This presentation will include the who, what, where, when and why of peer review. The slides presented here are designed to aid the facilitator in an interactive presentation of the elements of peer review. This presentation is ideal for any level of writing, including freshman composition.”


Activity Showcase: Drafting Class Expectations for Peer Response (Jessie Moore, Elon University)
Describes how students can work collaboratively to develop a set of expectations for peer review sessions.

Activity Showcase: Focused Peer Review (Ashley Holmes, Elon University)
This rubric encourages students to focus on higher order concerns when assessing their peers’ writing. It also asks students to offer a positive comment and identify an area that needs improvement.

Activity Showcase: Peer Review and Self-Assessment (Paula Patch, Elon University)
Provides a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Grading Rubric and Self-Assessment and Revision Plan for students to use in peer review.