Using Peer Editing activities to facilitate the development of strong writing skills
|Student Activity Time||Medium|
|Instructor Prep Time||High|
|Instructor Response Time||High|
|Complexity of Activity||High|
|Classroom Considerations||Additional support staff|
Peer Editing has student pairs critically review and provide editorial feedback on each other’s essay, report, argument, research paper, or other writing assignments. The activity helps teach students how to identify good and poor writing in the work of others and develops critical evaluation skills they can apply to their writing.
Use it when you want...
- To help students develop critical evaluation skills they can apply to their writing,
- To show students how to identify good and poor writing through the review of other students’ work, or
- To provide students a chance to receive constructive criticism that can improve their papers before submitting them for a grade.
What students will need
- No special requirements for this approach
The following workflow is meant as guidance for how you can facilitate a Peer Editing learning activity within a classroom.
- Identify ways of preparing students to develop the necessary skills for effective peer editing.
- Create a peer review form that lists the elements students should be looking for when they critique each other’s work.
- Students work in pairs and take turns describing ideas for the paper that each individual intends to write. As each student describes his or her ideas, a partner takes notes, asks questions, and makes suggestions.
- Outside of class, each student conducts research and writes their papers individually.
- Within each pair, students exchange drafts for peer editing. Student editors make proofing marks and comments directly on the paper and score or rate the paper with a peer review form. Student editors also complete and sign the peer review form and indicate their ratings of each of these areas.
- Each student revises his/her paper by considering peer feedback.
- Students attach the peer review form to the final draft and submit it to the professor for evaluation.
- Provide feedback/grade based on the quality of the paper and feedback provided.
- Provide feedback to students on ways to improve feedback for future assignments.
Accessibility and Room Considerations
An Introduction to Psychobiology professor decides to use class time to have students conduct an empirical study. Their final project was to write up the results in a formal research paper. He assigns students to Peer Editing groups so they can give each other advice and feedback on their writing. He uses a Peer Review Form from a top-tier journal to guide student feedback. In particular, students are to look for items related to the form of the research article, such as the significance of the problem, research design and methodology, significant results, and adequate conclusions, and to provide advice about writing mechanics and style (Barkley 309).
In the Introduction to Philosophy course, the professor wants to use Peer Editing in conjunction with the paper he has assigned as a final class project. He forms pairs and asks students to consider the question, “What is the difference between appearance and reality? He asks student partners to discuss and then selects one of the philosophers they have studied during the semester and writes a paper on how that philosopher has addressed that topic. The professor sets aside fifteen minutes during class each week for student pairs to review each other’s progress and provide feedback. A week before the papers are due, he sets aside an entire class session for students to edit and rate each other’s work. Students are to revise their paper based on the feedback, When they hand in the final paper, they are to attach the earlier version that includes the peer editing and a statement of how useful they felt the feedback was to improve the paper (Barkley 308-309).
Barkley, Elizabeth F. et al. Collaborative Learning Techniques A Handbook For College Faculty. Wiley, 2014. pp. 307-311.