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Peer Review Form For Argument Essay Ideas

Questions for Peer Review

Katherine Milligan

1. (Argument) Summarize the main idea of the draft briefly in your own words.

2. (Argument, Organization) Does the opening establish a clear starting point for the paper (a thesis, or at least a focussed topic)? Would some other part of the draft make a better introduction?

3. (Argument) Does the paper conclude with a whimper or a shout? Is the conclusion merely repetitive, or does it synthesize ideas, suggest new directions of thought, re-evaluate the introductory statements?

4. (Argument) Has any significant aspect of the question been neglected?

5. (Argument) Is there any point where the paper tends to fall from the level of analysis to the level of observation?

6. (Organization) How does the draft hold together? Which paragraphs don't connect well with preceding or subsequent ones?

7. (Organization, Evidence) Are there paragraphs that seem less coherent or less convincing than others? If so, choose one and explain how it might be clarified and/or better supported.

8. (Evidence) Select the best phrases, paragraphs, and/or ideas in the paper. Can they be exploited more thoroughly? How?

9. (Mechanics) Note problems with sentence structure, grammar, word choice, and other mechanical issues.

10. Respond to any questions the writer poses about her/his own draft.

Peer-Review Checklist for Draft of Argument Essay

Read the essay through, quickly. Then read it again, with the following questions in mind. Please write extensive comments either on your workshop partner's draft where applicable or on this handout. If you need more room, continue writing on the back of this page.

  1. Does this draft respond to the assignment? (Argument of a debatable issue with Rogerian slant?)
  2. Looking at the essay as whole, what thesis (main point including writer's opinion) is advanced? Please underline the thesis on your workshop partner's draft. If it is implied only, jot down what you perceive to be the thesis here.
  3. Are the needs of the audience kept in mind? For instance, do some concepts or words need to be defined? Is the evidence (examples, testimony of authorities, personal observations) clear and effective? Get into the margins of the draft and comment.
  4. Is any obvious evidence (or counter-evidence) overlooked?
  5. Can you accept the writer's assumptions? If not, why not? Please be honest and specific.
  6. Looking at each paragraph separately:
  1. What is the basic point?
  2. How does each paragraph relate to the essay's main idea or the previous paragraph?
  3. Should some paragraphs be deleted? Be divided into two or more paragraphs? Be combined? Be put elsewhere? (If you outline the essay by jolting down the gist of each paragraph, you will get help in answering these questions.)
  4. Is each sentence clearly related to the sentence that precedes it and to the sentence that follows?
  5. Is each paragraph adequately developed? Are there sufficient details, perhaps brief quotations or paraphrases from credible sources?
  1. Are the introductory and concluding paragraphs effective?
  2. What are the paper's main strengths?
  3. Make at least one specific suggestion that you think will assist the author to improve the paper.
  4. Last but not least--mechanics. If time permits, point out errors in spelling or grammar that distract from the argument of this draft.

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