Helpful Hints for Peer Review Critique
· Refer to pages 52 and 53 in The New St. Martin’s Handbook for help on reviewing drafts. There is a list of 13 questions that take you systematically through editing a paper.
· Address your critique to the author – they are your primary audience.
· Get in the habit of writing in MLA format for everything, including this assignment.
· It is helpful to give the author concrete examples or ideas. Do not just say "add more detail," instead give examples of details they could include.
Example: "In the first paragraph, it would make your argument about the girl stronger if some descriptions of the girl are given. What does the girl look like? How does the audience know that she is happier because of the cosmetic surgery?"
Example: "For example, the author should talk more about why the ad is targeting black teens instead of just leaving it alone."
· Make a point and then back it up with detail.
Example: "Another thing I see is that you aren’t confident in your point. You uses a lot of ‘might allude to’ statements, or some variations of that."
· Use quotes if you are directly citing from someone’s paper.
Example: "For example, ‘Although most people don’t have a clue what that means, since the article is targeting skaters, they will know what trick he is doing and just how crazy the trick really is." There are many ways to correct it, but I would reword it as "Most people don’t understand the stunt, but since the article is targeting primarily skaters, they will understand." I took out the last part ‘just…really is’ because it is irrelevant and contributes to a run-on sentence."
· This is a critique, not a summary. The author is familiar with his or her own work and does not need it to be restated.
· Have a structure for your critique. Do not randomly attack various points of their paper.
· Ask questions to make the author probe further into their topic.
Example: "Your ad is selling Skyy Vodka in this 1930’s starlet, glamour-filled, decadent lifestyle. Why are they using that as the image? What is the argument they are making by using that image? How is that image persuading people to buy that product? What are the strong elements in the ad that depict glamour?
· Finally, do not worry excessively about hurting the author’s feelings. The assignment is to find problems with their paper and help them fix their problems.
A good example of several hints: "You should review your sentences because there is some repetition and misspellings. For example, in paragraph two it is stated, ‘the visual content also possesses the characteristics of boldness, danger, courage, and fashion styles,’ and the next sentence says, "these characteristics of boldness, danger…" You could change it to ‘these characteristics can all compare to each other…’"