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Unit 6: Peer Review

We will use this discussion area to facilitate your revision projects. Before you get started, please read the assignment for the revised essay, and note the amended due dates for this unit’s activities on the Unit Six Overview.

This unit’s Peer Review will be focused on what composition researchers call “higher-order concerns.” In other words, rather than proofread each other’s papers, we will respond to broader rhetorical issues, such as focus (your thesis), development (your arguments), the rhetorical strategies you use to communicate your perspective, and the organization of your essay.

As with the Unit 4 revision assignment, this unit’s revision is meant to underscore the fact that revision is not about “fixing” errors or problems; rather, revision is about re-envisioning a piece of writing. This unit, you will use the feedback you receive in this thread to determine and implement a revision plan. Please note that, if you are revising Essay #4, you might not yet have your instructor’s feedback. Again, this is intentional. Too often, we get in the habit of revising only based on a teacher’s commentary and not on our own thoughts or the feedback of other peer readers.

Assessment: See the Grading and Assessment content item and the rubric for this discussion.

A NOTE ABOUT BALANCE: So that everyone benefits as much as possible from this process, respond to an essay that has not been read yet or that has only one response before adding a third response to another essay. An essay should not have three responses if other essays posted in the thread have just one response. It is, of course, possible for an essay to receive three or more responses, but, in fairness to everyone in the class, see that peer response is distributed evenly when possible.

Peer Review Process

The process for this unit’s peer review will be as follows:

Step One: As early in the unit as possible, but definitely by Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. CT, prepare your draft. This will require you to spend Monday-Wednesday revising or locating additional outside sources.

Step Two: Attach your draft to your discussion post in .doc, .docx, or .pdf by Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. In the body of your post, provide a paragraph of context. Describe how you have revised last unit’s essay so far and why. Additionally, tell us what kinds of feedback you are looking for (for example, feedback on your thesis, a particular argument you make, your introduction, the way that you have incorporated the new research material, etc.). This will help your peer reviewer provide meaningful feedback.

Step Three: Identify another student whose essay has not yet been peer-reviewed. Read the essay and respond to the writer no later than Friday at 11:59 p.m. CT with answers to the following questions (adapted from Greene & Lidinsky):

  1. What is the writer’s thesis?
  2. How does the writer establish the conversation–identify a gap in people’s knowledge, attempt to modify an existing argument, or try to correct some misunderstanding?
  3. How effectively does the writer distinguish between his or her ideas and the ideas he or she summarizes, paraphrases, or quotes?
  4. To what extent are you persuaded by the writer’s argument? Why?
  5. To what extent does the writer anticipate possible counterarguments?
  6. Can you follow the essay’s organization easily? If so, point to transitions/transitional phrases that help? If not, suggest them.
  7. What do you think is working best? Explain by pointing to specific passages in the writer’s draft.
  8. What do you recommend the writer work further on, and why?

Note: you will need at least 300 words to response appropriately and substantively.

Step Four: Return to this thread periodically before Sunday to ask and answer any follow-up questions.