2/24 Peer Review

Directions: Think of peer review as a brainstorming activity. It is your job as a respondent to brainstorm ways the writer can extend what is already strong, and tell the writer what direction the paper might go in next. It’s helpful to respond to this question: If you were the writer of this piece, what would you do next? Don’t think of it as your job to fix anything, including grammar or style. *It is expected that you will be professional and respectful, providing thoughtful and thorough feedback.*

Timeframe: 10 minutes per paper – 3 papers total

Respondent Responsibilities:
  1. Log-in to Turnitin and click on our course.
  2. Navigate to the PeerMarkassignment to begin the peer review process.

    1. Read the paper slowly, paying special attention to the ideas, organization, voice, and word choice.
    2. Answer each of the peer review questions on the screen; use sentences or phrases (5 word minimum).
    3. Repeat the above steps for two additional papers (one is distributed to you, one is self-selected).

  1. Finish providing feedback to peers for homework (assignment closes at 11:59PM on Monday, 2/27).

  1. Explain your favorite line of the essay.
  2. Explain which line of the essay could be most improved.
  3. If there were one aspect/idea within the paper as a whole that you would point out as problematic/dull/unnecessary/etc., what would it be and why?
  4. Evaluate the “hook.” Does it work or does it seem forced/contrived/tacked on, etc? Is it good or is it fantastic? Can you suggest ways to make it better? Explain.
  5. Do you understand the focus of this essay after reading the first paragraph? What is it?
  6. Does the writer separate the essay into paragraphs at appropriate times? Would you suggest merging or separating the text differently? Explain.
  7. Is the essay focused on ONE experience/theme/topic, or is the writer “skimming” the surface on too many topics? Explain.
  8. Are there vague, cliché, or generalized phrases that leave you wishing the writer would be more specific? (Example: “Through hard work and discipline, I discovered I could accomplish anything.”)
  9. Note any noticeable “detours” or “tangents” in the essay that need to be eliminated.
  10. Is the writer “showing” his/her experience through sensory imagery and vivid details? Write the most vivid line. Then note any parts of the experience that you cannot imagine.
  11. What does the last few lines of this essay leave you thinking/feeling? In other words, what kind of impression does the end of this essay leave?
  12. If you were to set the essay’s mood to a musical piece, what would it be? Classical, classic rock, punk rock, pop, rap, jazz, hip hop, blues, heavy metal, r&b, etc. Explain.

Steps for completing peer review after the assignment closes:
Log-in to Turnitin à Click on our class à Navigate to the PeerMark assignment à Click on “Show Details” à Click on “Read All Papers and Reviews” à Select a paper to review and click “Read Reviews” à Read paper and answer the twelve peer review questions that follow à Repeat this for three papers total; finish this for homework

2/22 Class Notes - Organization and Personal Appeal:

Link: Tony Hawk's TIB essay (we listened to this in class, rating the effectiveness of its organization and personal appeal)

Creative Writing Strategies:
-Magic three
-Specific/concrete details
-Repetition for effect
-Expanded moment
-Hyphenated modifiers
-Full circle ending

-effectively adjusts language and tone to task and reader
-shows active interest in the topic
-commands dynamic vocabulary
-employs a notable range of sentence variety

2/16 TIB Assignment and Multiple-Draft Approach:


2/15 Exploratory Writing Prompts: TIB
1. Most of us have been in a situation where we made a promise that for one reason or another we were unable to keep.
When were you disappointed because someone made you a promise that they failed to keep? Or when did you break a promise that you made to someone else?
2. We all tend to judge people by their appearances, even though looks can be deceiving.
Have you ever prejudged someone incorrectly based on their appearance or has someone ever prejudged you unfairly based on how you look?
3. All of us are works in progress with a long way to go before we reach our full potential.
In what skill or area are you still working to make progress?
4. Everyone has problems or challenges to overcome.
What obstacles are you proud to have faced and conquered?
5. Our society uses the word hero in many different ways.
How do you define hero, and who is a hero in your life?
6. There is a famous adage: "To err is human, to forgive divine."
When did you feel divine because you were able to forgive someone for their mistake? When did someone act divine by forgiving you when you were wrong?

2/14 Class Notes: Writing Process & Creative Nonfiction

2/9 Extension Activity: Intro to This I Believe

(Download this document to type your responses to the prompts for a sample TIB essay analysis and evaluation.)

Link: This I Believe