Peer Workshop Guide In Chapter 10, the authors give suggestions for helping you to revise your work before giving your paper to your instructor. One of the most important things you can do to help you revise your work is to have someone you trust read your work and give you feedback. The guide below will help you focus your comments.
First, read the essay carefully and write comments about the paper’s content. Point out places that are especially informative, places that are confusing, and places that need more support. Make sure you think about the requirements for the paper as you read. Has the writer fulfilled all components of the assignment? Don’t worry about worry about editing the paper for grammar or usage. Editing should be done after you have made revisions to the paper’s content.
Next, Write Comments About the Paper
After you finish reading the essay, answer the following questions about each portion of the paper. It will be more helpful to the writer if you answer questions in writing so the writer can return to your comments when revising.
After you finish answering the questions on the next page, return your comments to the writer. After reading each other’s comments, discuss your impressions of the paper. You might want to ask clarifying questions of your editor, or provide clarification about a place for revision to the writer whose paper you read. Ask each other follow-up questions.
Next, Make a Plan
Before you begin revision, make a plan. What did you learn from the workshop? How do you plan to revise your draft? Complete the Workshop Reflection.
Go Forth and Revise!
Finally, revise your paper, adding, deleting, and reshaping your paper until you feel you have best conveyed your purpose to your audience.
Before you Submit…Edit
The last thing you should do before submitting your paper is to edit it for grammar, usage, and style. Again, it is helpful to have a friend edit your paper, but if you choose to edit your own, make sure you read your paper slowly, read it aloud, and or read it backwards. Look at the style workshop guidelines and the top twenty errors on http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/everyday_writer/20errors/
to help you edit your paper.
Print & Submit – You’re Done!
Congratulate yourself on your accomplishment.
After reading and annotating your classmate’s paper, answer the following questions about the major portions of the paper.
Introduction: Explaining the Writer’s Purpose
The introduction to this essay should introduce the conversation the writer is entering. It should explain the writer’s purpose for writing and describe the community, artifact, or archive the writer investigated. The writer should clearly explain the conclusions he or she has come to, the recommendations he or she has after conducting research, or how he or she will add to an existing archive so that you understand what the essay will be about.
What is the purpose for the essay?
Is the writer’s purpose clear? Do you understand what the rest of the paper will be about? Why or why not?
What suggestions can you offer the writer to help him/her improve the introduction?
The writer will likely need to provide some background on the conversation surrounding the issue under discussion to contextualize the writer’s explanation of his or her research. Comment on the background the writer includes.
Does the writer include too much or not enough background?
Is the background included the right information to develop his/her discussion?
In other words, do you feel you understand the context of the topic the writer discusses?
What can the writer do to improve this section of the paper?
The writer will spend the majority of the paper discussing his or her research findings. The writer will organize his or her findings in a variety of ways. The writer should provide the right amount of information and organize it in a way that makes sense to you as a reader.
Does the writer organize his or her paper chronologically, hierarchically, logically, spatially, by comparison and contrast, by using the IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion) method, or by using the organizational method requested by your instructor?
Is this organizational structure working? Why or why not?
How can the writer improve the structure of his or her paper?
The writer should utilize the skills you learned this semester, such as thick description, narrative, and a blending of primary and secondary sources to explain his or her purpose.
After reading this section of the paper, do you have a clear understanding of what the writer discovered doing his or her research and why it is important? Why or why not?
Is there any information that is unnecessary?
Do you feel you need more information or description to help you understand the topic? Why or why not?
The writer should use compelling, credible, varied and accurate evidence to support her/his points. Comment on the writer’s use of evidence. Address the amount/type of evidence.
Does the writer have a good balance of primary and secondary sources?
Does the writer use secondary sources to support his or her own research?
Does the writer cite his or her sources within the paper correctly, so you know what information the writer gained from his or her research? Make sure you have marked places in the paper where the writer has not cited his or her research correctly.
The writer should have a clear understanding of who her or his audience is, and should write her or his paper addressing this audience.
Who is the audience for the paper?
Does the writer have a good understanding of his or her audience’s needs, concerns, and culture? Why or why not?
Comment on the writer’s conclusion.
Does the writer provide a thoughtful ending to the essay without only being a summation of the points discussed in the essay? Why or why not?
Overall, what do you find most interesting about the writer’s paper?
What does he/she do best?
What do you think the writer should focus on the most in revision?
Write a reflection commenting on the workshop. In the first part of your reflection, discuss what you learned from the workshop and how it will help you in revision. Then, describe how you plan to revise your essay.
Style Workshop Guidelines Content and style go hand-in-hand. The more fluid the writer’s style, the better chance the writer’s audience will understand and be able to be persuaded by the writer’s argument. Read the essay closely, and write comments on the writer’s paper addressing the following:
Grammar and Punctuation. This includes things like comma use, semi-colon use, Subject/Verb agreement, fragment and run-on use, etc. Look at the list of the Top 20 errors on http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/everyday_writer/20errors/
and make sure the paper does not include any of them. You may want to read the paper aloud; you can often hear incorrect usage better than you can see it.
Overall, work towards concision and clarity. Avoid wordiness.
Varied Sentence Length. Paragraphs should have a balance between longer and shorter sentences. Each have different effects in an essay. Beware of VERY long sentences…the ones that go on and on and on and on and on and on and on.
Avoid modifiers such as very and extremely. Use strong verbs or nouns instead. “I raced down the road” is a stronger sentence than “I ran really fast down the road.”
Transitions. An essay should flow from idea to idea. Transitions belong in the beginning of paragraphs.
Organization of Ideas. Remember PIE: Paragraphs should begin with a topic sentence and should offer illustrations and explanations of the topic sentence.
Paragraphs in general. Begin a new paragraph when you begin a new idea. Paragraphs should be indented 5 spaces.
Integrating Sources. Quotations should be contained within a sentence and should be put in context. Remember to include internal citations.
After line editing the writer’s essay, comment on the issues described on your workshopping for style description. After writing a few sentences on specific issues, comment on what you think the writer should address to improve the essay’s overall clarity. You can write on a separate sheet of paper or write your response on the back page of the writer’s essay.
Resources The Everyday Writer’s List of the Top 20 Errors in Writing