As you read take notes and highlight lines that seem “true” and try to think about why you feel this way. Have you experienced some of the situations he writes about? Think also about your experience with Peer Review exercises and consider why your experience with peer review is negative or positive. Was the review helpful or discouraging. Why was it so?
When I read DePeter’s essay, I recognized many experiences of my own as a writer (I’m in a writing group that does lots of peer review) and as a writing instructor. Many students resist Peer Review or feel uncertain about the process. Here is a section in that brought to mind many of my students who are not thrilled about peer review. DeJong states the following observations about his students’ resistance to peer review. Do any of these seem familiar?
- Students placed greater value in professors’ feedback vs. peers’, usu- ally ignoring peer responses unless they were forced to use them in revisions;
- Students often felt poorly qualified to write meaningful responses, since they saw themselves as merely adequate, “not good enough to tell someone else how to write;”
- Students were often reluctant to write questions, which they viewed as critical, because they did not want to be perceived as “judging” their peers’ experiences, thoughts, or feelings;
- Students would often judge their peers’ writing based on what they thought a teacher would want, rather than their own criteria for what makes writing good; and
- Students initially tended to comment on things that were easier to “fix” like grammar or spelling mistakes, and paragraph size..
DePeter also gives a technique that helps students write effective, sincere praise in addition to questions for their peers. We will draw on this for our peer review on Tuesday. In the meantime, think about what makes writing work in your opinion. What do you like to see in good writing? (You do have an opinion on this!) What makes writing seem more alive as you read your peers work? When you peer review, I’ll offer guidance to help you do this to make the time beneficial to you, your peers, and your writing.
Source: DePeter, Ron. “How to Write Meaningful Peer Response Praise.” Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, Volume 3, 2020.https://writingspaces.org/sites/default/files/depeter-write-meaningful-peer-response-praise.pdf