Peer review on Tuesday: procedures & handouts

As you all know, on Tuesday you’ll be working in pairs to review your complete, polished drafts of your analysis paper (complete and polished means ‘something I would be happy to have assessed by a professor’ — you should be beyond the shitty first draft stage at this point).

Instructions, handouts, procedures and more below the break …

You need to know two key things about Peer Review Day:

First — no completed draft, no peer review. I will ask you to leave and complete this (mandatory) exercise outside of class time if you are not prepared on Tuesday. Bring in a paper or electronic copy of your draft and be ready to show me it’s done upon arriving in class. (You can print your essay in the classroom or in the DWRL Student Media Lab in PAR 102 for free. A lot of people find a soft copy easier to work with, but it’s up to you.)

Second — be on time. It’s impossible to accommodate latecomers during this workshop, as you’ll be working in groups and we can’t just tack people onto them partway through the workshop. Thus, I’ll be locking the door at 11.05 and then putting you into pairs; if you arrive after the door is shut, you’ll need to complete peer review outside of class time. If you’re not going to be in class for the workshop, it would be helpful if you could email me in advance and let me know — this will make it easier for me to organise groups.

During the workshop

During the workshop, you’ll use the handouts below to work through the strengths and weaknesses of your peer’s paper (first two pages of each document) and then write a short (1-2 paragraph) letter to your peer which summarises your feedback. Focus on big-picture concerns – is the paper clear? Does it offer evidence to support its claims? Do you have a sense of the source’s argument? Don’t fuss overmuch about highlighting every typo or misplaced comma. Put your name on the handout and sign your letter.

Give the feedback sheets and the letter to your peer at the end of our class meeting, or arrange a mutually convenient deadline by which to email it to them (I will not police disputes over these deadlines, so please think hard about what is reasonable and if anything goes wrong, communicate with your peer about it).

Peer review handout – typing friendly (direct link to .doc; right-click and save-as to download)

Peer review handout – printer friendly (direct link to .pdf; right-click and save-as to download)

After the workshop

After the workshop, each of you should review the feedback and your paper carefully. Use the last page of the handouts to reflect on the feedback and rewrite your paper accordingly.

When you submit your paper

When you submit your paper to me, you will need to send or hand me the following:

  • Copy of Tuesday’s draft
  • Copy of peer reviewer feedback sheet (handout pages 1-2)
  • Copy of letter from your peer reviewer
  • Copy of your self-analysis (handout page 3)
  • The actual paper you want me to review

Please give these files descriptive names and ensure it’s clear which one you want me to comment on.

I’ll send you feedback over the weekend and then we’ll meet privately on the following Monday/Tuesday to discuss your next round of revisions. Don’t forget to sign up for an appointment. (@gmail or @utexas login required)

Any questions?

If you have any questions, please email me! If you are in touch before 8pm on Monday, I’ll guarantee you a response before we meet on Tuesday. (Email me later than that and I may well get back to you before class, but can’t guarantee it.)

On a related note, I do take requests for thinking music — so if you have any suggestions, let me know.


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