Peer Review Techniques

To address the collective concern about students’ writing abilities across the disciplines, the Writing Program has provided some resources and readings to help teach, assign, and grade student writing. These readings range in length and depth, so summaries are provided for quick access.

Peer Review Workshops

  • Activities and workshops to implement both individual and peer review of writing
  • The activities are simple, effective, and useful for getting out of the “trade papers with the person sitting next to you” rut
  • Good for: TA’s, classes with research papers, senior seminars/capstones, writing classes


Workshops for Individual Review of Work:
Individual Workshop 1
Individual Workshop 2

Workshops for Peer Review of Work:
Peer Review Workshop 1
Peer Review Workshop 2
Peer Review Workshop 3
Peer Review Workshop 4
Peer Review Workshop 5
Peer Review Workshop 6
Peer Review Workshop 7

Readings on Peer & Student Review

Peer Review: Successful From the Start
Shelley Reid

  • One page article on ways to successfully implement peer review sessions
  • Addresses the common issues with peer review sessions, and ways they can be solved
  • Good read for: classes with research papers, writing classes, senior seminars/capstones, TA’s

Provocative Revision
Toby Fulwiler

  • “Although such revision sometimes happens by itself, especially for writers who are engaged with their task, it does not happen for writers who are not engaged, who are going through the motions of completing somebody else’s task – a common predicament in school writing” (4).
  • Fulwiler presents 4 provocative ways for students to revise their work:
  • Limiting: first drafts often yield writing that is very general and has confusing direction. Readers are more interested in the details they don’t know than reading something they generally already know to be true.
  • Remedy: limit the scope and focus of the paper. Can have students find a local aspect of their research – ex. if they are writing about abortion, they can visit a local Planned Parenthood or abortion clinic.
  • Adding: add an interview or dialogue to make it more interesting
  • Switching: telling the same story but from a different perspective
  • Switching  voice or point of view can help the student add detail that they wouldn’t normally think of
  • ex. Most expositional papers are written from a first person perspective, but asking a student to write the same experience from a third person view asks them to reevaluate the experience and adds detail and direction that otherwise would be stale
  • Transforming: recasting a piece into an entirely different style or form
  • ex. Rewriting a research essay into a script
  • While this may seem “at best, superficial, or at worst, inappropriately playful for college-level work,” it makes the revision process exciting, and students can work on their writing in a more engaging way
  • Good read for: TA’s, writing instructors, classes with research papers, writing intensive courses
Skip to toolbar