Peer Editing Procedure
You must make an honest effort to have each of your papers (Assignments 1-3) commented on by two of your classmates before you turn it in to me for the first time. I have allowed time in the schedule for you to revise each paper in response to peer editing comments.
With each paper you submit to me, include a completed Submission Page.
I do not expect anyone to peer edit more than two papers per assignment. However, I expect you to be considerate of each other. If someone sends you a paper after you’ve edited two, and if the deadline is rapidly approaching (or past), accommodate the person if you can. If you can’t, let the person know.
Because people disappear from this course without warning, I cannot form meaningful editing groups. Therefore, you must choose two of your classmates and request that they edit your papers. Here’s the ideal procedure:
/ Forty-eight hours before you plan to send a paper, e-mail several people and ask if they can edit your paper.
/ When your paper is ready, send it to two people who have responded affirmatively, and notify anyone else who has so responded that you won’t be sending a paper.
/ Try to allow plenty of time, remembering that your editor lives the same kind of insanely busy life that you do.
If you’ve sent your paper to two people whom you can reasonably expect to respond and given them time to do so, and if you don’t get responses, supply that information on the submission page and submit the paper.
(This peer editing exercise focuses on thought, organization and development.)
/ Writer: When you submit a paper for peer editing, include an outline of your paper.
  1. Make your thesis capture an adult reader’s imagination: Not "My trip to Mexico was interesting," or "My trip to Mexico was quite an adventure," but "My trip to Mexico was a series of narrow escapes from death."
  2. Make sure your question is one that grows from your thesis: Not "Was my trip to Mexico a series of narrow escapes from death," but "How was my trip to Mexico a series of narrow escapes from death?" Alternatives: "What were my narrow escapes from death?" "In what ways was my trip to Mexico a series of narrow escapes from death?"
  3. Make sure your answers directly and completely answer the question. Not, "Malaria," but "I nearly died from Malaria during the first week of the trip." Write each answer as a complete declarative sentence.
  4. Check to see that your paper follows your outline. If it doesn’t, revise it before you send it to your peers. Each answer should be the topic sentence of a paragraph in the body of your paper. (You can write your outline first and use it as a guide as you write the paper, or you can write it after you’ve written the paper, using it as an analytic tool to check the paper’s organization.)
  5. Write any questions about the paper that you’d like your peer editors to help you answer.

/ Peer editor: Respond to the paper by writing answers to the following. Look first at the outline:
  1. Does the thesis appeal to your imagination and make you want to read the paper? If not, how might the writer revise the thesis?
  2. Does the question really grow from the thesis? If not, how might the writer revise it?
  3. Is each answer a clear, direct and complete answer to the question, and is each a complete declarative sentence? If not, how might the writer revise?
  4. Next, read the paper itself:
  5. Has the writer used each answer as the topic sentence for a paragraph? If not, do the paragraphs have topic sentences? Are the paragraphs clearly focused on the thesis?
  6. Has the writer developed each paragraph by giving you enough information so that you have a clear understanding of the subject and of why it is significant to the writer? Are there places where there is too much or not enough information?
  7. If the writer has asked you questions, answer them to the best of your ability.
  8. Tell the writer what you like best about the paper.
  9. Suggest one way in which the paper could be strengthened. Don’t comment on grammar, punctuation or spelling unless there are problems that seriously interfere with your ability to understand what the writer is saying. In that case, identify the sentences you don’t understand.

If something interferes with your ability to answer the questions above, or if anwers to those questions would not help the writer to see strengths and / or weaknesses in thought, organization and development, structure your comments in a way that makes sense to you. Remember to keep your primary focus on thought, organization and development.