Please bear with me–this is a long module, but it’s critical to your performance for the duration of the semester. Please take the time to read carefully.
This assignment asks you to develop your major-project research topic into a short outline, and then peer review your new peer-partner’s outline. You may use the topic brainstormed last week to develop your outline.
However, if that isn’t working out for you, or if you’ve come up with a better topic, you may develop something new.
When you complete this peer review, I will be evaluating your work beyond just a completion grade. I expect you to be engaged in the process, taking your time to critically read and respond to your partner’s ideas for your paper. Peer review is an essential stage in the writing process that allows us to get an outside perspective on our work before finalizing it. This needs to be a productive space where both partners are helping each other find ways to improve their writing and fully meet all assignment guidelines.
If you do not feel like you are getting valuable feedback from your peer reviewer, ask them questions about specific areas of concern, draw their attention to specific passages or formatting, and otherwise engage in a back & forth conversation.
By the final project, you will have a productive rapport built with one another, and for many, that connection moves beyond this class to future classes and friendship.
Why Do We Peer Review?
In professional spheres, peer review is anonymous (which explains a lot of APA formatting, such as the title page). Peer review provides a number of benefits to the professions which practice it which include publications within all of the sciences as well as any other field that conducts field research.
Peer review provides a discourse community with accountability for individual rigor and ethics, protecting them to some extent from fraudulent, unethical, or faulty research practices. It means that reputable publications vet the work of individuals for accuracy, relevance, and bias, among other things.
For the writer, peer review provides stature, reputation, and credibility as it holds them accountable to a certain level of professional rigor and ethical insight. Perhaps most importantly, though, it also provides the writer with valuable feedback–An article rejection from a publisher helps us understand how our writing is not meeting genre conventions.
Novice writers feel defeated by rejection. Expert writers feel challenged.
Respond Like a Reader
Because you are not the person grading the paper or assignment, avoid using overly evaluative language when you peer review. Your goal is not to assess whether the writing is “good” or “bad,” but to express how it can be better. Instead, react naturally as you would when reading any other text.
If something confuses you, point that out and try to help your partner understand what the issue was.
If something seems incorrect or unexplained, highlight that for your partner and help them understand why it caught your attention.
If you notice something is missing from their paper or doesn’t match the assignment guidelines, point that out and remind them of those requirements.
Quote your peer! Doing so helps you point out what you are confused by, what you like best about their post, etc. If you are responding to a partner’s rough draft, highlight that sentence or section and leave a comment (right-click -> “comment”) reflecting on why you like or are confused by their ideas.
Even when you are praising someone’s work, you want to be specific about why.
If something works well, explain how it works for you instead of saying it’s “great.”
If you like something, or their ideas finally click for you, it helps them to know what about that sentence or section works so they can mimic those moves in the other parts of their writing that you might have been more confused by.
E.g., “The example in this paragraph really helps me understand your major claim better. Could you use the same strategy in this other paragraph?”
Understand Your Partner’s Expectations
Your partner will already have some concerns with their own rough draft. While it is easy to jump into reading the paper, take the time to talk with your partner first so that you can understand what they want specific feedback on.
Maybe your partner is most concerned with the organization of their paper, which would require you to look at the entire piece holistically.
Or, perhaps they are unsure if their introduction makes any sense.
Without talking with your partner first, or reading that post, you might skip over the section that they are actually wanting the most help with.
Write Out Feedback & Debrief After
We all have unique ways of understanding new information. The way you can best help your partner is by being detailed and explicit in your written feedback on their paper.
Then, after giving, receiving, and reading feedback, talk about it with each other.
What you wrote in your feedback might make sense to you, but they may have questions about your feedback. Or, you may have questions about what your partner wrote!
If so, use the Inbox feature on our left sidebar here to message your partner! This is much more reliable than posting another reply to the discussion board, because they may not check back here after they download your feedback.
Focus on Global Concerns, Not Local
Global concerns refer to big picture problems, like the content of their paper or discussion post. This would include things like the organization of their ideas, how coherent their claims and evidence are, and the effectiveness of their textual support (quotes and ideas taken from readings).
Local concerns would be things like grammar, punctuation, and minor details that don’t mean much to the overall communication of the work. For local concerns, practice with online help or seek a Writing Center tutor. (They also help with global concerns!)
As a reminder, when I grade your major assignments, I am focusing on the content you provide. I am not counting grammar mistakes. But when I grade peer review, I am focusing on the quality of your feedback.
Help Your Partner!
It may feel nice to boost your partner’s ego by highlighting the strengths of their paper, but without giving constructive feedback that identifies areas in need of improvement, you are only letting your partner down.
If your feedback is entirely supportive (“Great point! I love this!”) or only talks about grammar, you are not going to get full peer review credit and you are not setting your partner up for success.
Proposal Draft Outlines Prompt
You must use the Proposal Draft Template Download Proposal Draft Templateto draft your outline.
You do not need to have completed every item on the template in draft form as of yet. But the more the better.
The quality of the draft itself will not be graded so long as it’s complete, but peer review and conferences are, so please read these notes carefully for credit.
Participation is mandatory.
If you cannot participate for a very good reason, you must negotiate a peer-review alternative with me prior to missing this activity.
Everyone must attach a rough draft of your research proposal as a MIcrosoft Word document in a comment on this page. This will keep your drafts organized in one place for easy peer review.
In the text box of your comment, include a few major concerns you would like your peer reviewer to focus on helping you with.
Do not reply to one another in this discussion thread (it gets too messy).
It is every writer’s responsibility to make note of useful advice from their peers with the exception of a specific form I want you to fill out and post in your final reply. It is called the CARES-Peer-Review-Feedback-Form. Download CARES-Peer-Review-Feedback-Form.
There is no make-up for peer review. If you post no outline and/or submit no peer-review in the designated period, you will receive no credit.
Writing is a social and rhetorical activity, and your full participation adds to the entire class’s success.
EVERY PEER REVIEW SUBMISSION SHOULD HAVE
In Your Post
A DETAILED, SPECIFIC, AND DEVELOPED OUTLINE ATTACHED AS A WORD DOC
This may be clearly written bullet points or full paragraph drafts
If you’re having trouble with this, begin your conversation with your partner early for help.
If you’re still having trouble, see me for Office Hours.
In Reply to Your Partner’s Post
A COMPLETED CARES-PEER-REVIEW-FEEDBACK-FORM Download CARES-PEER-REVIEW-FEEDBACK-FORMATTACHED AS A WORD DOC
A DETAILED. CONSTRUCTIVE PARAGRAPH OR TWO DISCUSSING WHAT DOES AND DOESN’T WORK IN YOUR PARTNERS OUTLINE.
What is unclear?
What could be developed more and how?
What might get them stuck when trying to research?
Are there any obvious dangers such as unethical language or unobtainable data?
Is it too much or too little for a semester-long project?
We’ll also discuss these types of things in our conferences.
the previous work is on the files that you need to do this order
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