Peer Editing, a GOOD Idea?
by Zainab Al Balushy
3) Tell them to use the rubric sheets you provided
Students should be provided with specific guidelines for the editing process through which they can focus their editing of each others' papers. Editing symbols should also be well known to students so that they apply them adequately. The feedback form should address the content as well as the accuracy of the written work.
4) Ask them to put their own names on the papers they are to edit
That is to give them sense of appreciation and support their self esteem. It will enhance their confidence and make them feel responsible of the task they are assigned. It will of course ease the process of knowing who peered up with whom to be able to meet later and discuss.
5) Give the students time to read through the essay
You should stress that students take it seriously and read through the whole essay before spotting the mistakes to give them a better understanding of what is written.
6) Editors underline the mistakes and write the editing symbols above
The second round involves scanning the essay and finding the mistakes. They should not fix any mistakes but only underline them and write the editing symbols on top of the words. This will give the writers a hint of the kind of mistake and make it easy for them to fix it later.
7) After finishing, students get their papers back
Again depending on the distribution method, have students get their papers back from their peers. Let them move around, change their seating, or even join new groups.
8) Based on the feedback they receive, have the student writers correct their own papers
Now that writers have their papers along with feedback forms, they should start fixing their mistakes using the hints provided through the editing symbols and the notes and comments in the feedback forms.
9) While correcting their mistakes, they should consult the editor for clarification
In some cases, students might not be clear about some comments or suggestions and in such a case they should consult their editor.
10) Remind them to negotiate their mistakes with the editor and
It is not guaranteed though that all the peer's suggestions are correct. In so many cases the writer is correct and the editor makes a mistake. So, writers should discuss their viewpoints on the mistakes they are not convinced with.
11) Let them use dictionaries and class notes while correcting their mistakes.
To assist students fix their mistakes, a dictionary and a grammar book plus the study notes are the best companions. They can always go back to their editors and check the possible way of editing or even ask other students in their groups to give them a hand.
Areas of suggestions
• Title should address the topic
• Thesis statement should be well structured and specific
• Organization should be in the form of separate paragraphs
• Details or explanations should support the topic providing examples where applicable
• Topic sentences should be focused and specific
• Relevant information should be included in all paragraphs
• Word choice should involve risk taking
• Connectors have to be used thoroughly and correctly
• Capitalization should be used where necessary
• Subject-verb agreement is a vital aspect that could be neglected sometimes
• Spelling mistakes should be fixed and not repeated
• Singular/plural nouns should be correctly used
• Word formation should be applied correctly
• Missing punctuation should be noticed
• Incomplete or run-on sentences should be highlighted
• Articles should vary according to the sentences
• Prepositions should be used correctly
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