|Narrative/Descriptive Essay: Peer Review Worksheet
Essay Writer’s Name:
Type your answers below each of the questions. Once you’ve completed your review email a copy to me at firstname.lastname@example.org AND a copy to the writer of the essay.
1. First, begin by having the writer read his or her essay aloud. Try to imagine the remembered person’s significance to the writer. Write a few sentences about your overall impression. Summarize the person’s significance as you understand it reflected in the draft.
Next read the essay to yourself and write your responses to the following questions, or make notes and marks on the essay as necessary.
2. Briefly sum up the writer's thesis in a sentence or two of your own.
3. As you read through the body of the essay, sum up what you think is the basic idea of each paragraph in a single complete sentence. Decide whether the essay might be strengthened by shifting parts around, perhaps changing the order of anecdotes or moving the descriptions of the person. Point out spots where your momentum slowed as you read.
body ¶ 1
body ¶ 2
body ¶ 3
body ¶ 4
4. Focus now on the descriptive qualities. Underline and make margin notes to address each of the following questions.
Point out passages that provide lively, vivid descriptions.
What language is most imagistic? What images does that language help you to see, feel, taste, etc.?
Point out places where you would like greater specificity or more detail.
Point out general or flat statements. Indicate places where the writer might be more successful in illustrating the person’s character through use of anecdotes, dialogues, similes, metaphors and descriptions.
Note any revealing passages that help you consider the person’s character and significance. Does the writer show rather than tell?
5. Next review the anecdotes, noting any that are particularly effective and any that seem unnecessary or confusing. Underline and make margin notes as necessary
6. Look at the ending. Is it satisfying? Does it repeat what you already know? Does it oversimplify or reduce the meaning of the relationship to a platitude? Does the ending frame the essay by referring back to the ending? Explain what you think makes this person and this event significant for the writer.
7. Give the writer your final thoughts. These questions may help you to summarize your final thoughts: What effect did the essay have on you personally? How did you react to the subject, the relationship and/or the described event? What aspect of the essay is most memorable? What parts need further work yet? Give detailed suggestions.