Guidelines for Peer Review

1. Start by reading the document through once, then glancing back to understand the organization.

2. Always read through the paper twice, even if the first read-through is quick. You’ll need to know where things are going before you can give feedback on where they start.

3. Don’t focus on grammar and mechanics. If you think a paper needs substantive revision in these areas, make the author a note to review these on their own or with support from their teacher or the writing center.

4. Focus instead on content and organization:

  • Does the text have an engaging opening?
  • Are the details included clearly relevant? Does the text offer adequate analysis of its subject matter?
  • Is the text structured logically? Does the organization contribute to the central narrative or argument?
  • Is the tone appropriate to the content?

5. Be helpful in your feedback. Do not be brief. Remember that it takes a measure of trust to offer someone your writing. Honor that trust in your own tone and language.