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Peer Response Self-Evaluation Letter

Assignment Summary

I began the class with these examples of peer response:

Here are two sets of good content-related peer response to Exploratory Writing 3. Notice the presence of questions, as well as praise and advice. These responses exceed the minimum number (3-4) of required comments.

In what section? Maybe expand more.

Why do you think this is so?

What makes you think this? Maybe because the way high school is portrayed in the media?

Did any of the boys divide? Did all of you girls get along? Maybe forming one big group?

Did you see this directly in yourself?

Being involved in what?

How are they tough?

How did that affect you? Would you say you were just like the jocks Finders describes?

Very true.

What studies? Such as...

Good personal details.

How were you more engaged?

Here is an exceptional set of peer responses, from another class I recently taught. Note the combination of questions, suggestions, praise, and personal impressions:

1. If you say "certainly," then everybody has to think that way. Do you think everybody goes for happiness instead of ambition? Does everybody know what makes him/her happy?

2. Do you recall any examples from life? Magazines, newspapers, personal experiences?

3. Isn't his [quote from Sid] witty and a little sarcastic?

4. Very insightful.

5. Why does Sid need Ivana so desperately?

6. How come Eggs came back? Maybe it's because Katie was a different person now? Do you think their love faded?

7. Maybe you want to analyze Sid's choice.

8. True. Very true. Do you think we have a choice?

9. (End Comment) You are mentioning Sid and Eggs most of all in your essay. Do you think they resemble each other? In what ways?

You retell a lot of facts from the book, and you certainly give your own opinion and analysis of evnts and choices that Eggs and Sid made. This is very good. The only thing I can suggest is that maybe you shouldn't use so many actions and choices of Sid and Eggs. Maybe it should be only one question that you answer. For example, why Sid hated his job? Why he depended on Ivana so much? I would also advise (this can also expand analysis and thought) to use examples from real life. Do you have friends, relatives who sometimes act like characters from the book?

After they read this, I give them the following set of strategies for peer response.

Summation of Peer Response Strategies:

As you read the text, see if you can go beyond just the minimum few comments. Write a carefully worded set of comments, employing some of the strategies we have been practicing this semester:
  • ask thought-provoking questions that can push the writer to clarify, expand, or qualify ideas
  • prompt the writer to consider adding more of his/her feelings or analysis
  • give advice in the form of tentative suggestions ("maybe..." or "you might...")
  • share personal impressions about the text or the developing thesis
  • offer praise where you think a detail or personal example clicks, and express resistance when you felt the attempt at a detail or personal example failed to click.
Then they exchange and share texts. After they have finished responding to each others' papers, I have them fill out the following self-evaluation letter.

Instructor's Comments

genre narrative
course WRT 102
activity type small group discussion, group revision exercise
skills peer evaluation, holistic (generative) revision, paragraph-level revision, interpersonal communication, analysis, personal assessment
duration 1-2 classes
draft of narrative (informal or reflective) essay
contributor: Ron DePeter