Peer Editing College Essay

Consider the case of Amy, a well-trained academic writer, who had a hard time making her direct writing style interest her readers.Classmate Ethan, having done the first review, stated that her title, "Cheerleading: Sport or Activity?

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This frees up the student writers to experiment with new ideas, words, and patterns.

They become aware of writing as a social construct and realize that their writing affects individual readers differently.

Her writing strategy was developed in response to having two peer editors review her first draft and make specific suggestions for improvement.

Her first reviewer, Ollie, remarked, "You need a better hook"; her second reviewer, Katie, suggested she cite others' experiences.

I also wanted to give my students a positive attitude about revision; I did not want them to have a "limited sense of revision," as students are often "very forgiving of papers having underdeveloped ideas and claims" (Beason, 1993, 395).

Most students do not think that their peers have the skills to be able to edit each other's essays (Helfers, et. Using the two-peer editing system, however, increased the likelihood that each paper would receive a quality response from at least one editor.I wanted my students to consider many ways of constructing meaning through their writing.(See the Two-Peer Editing Strategy Checklist, figure 1.) After developing the checklist, I then had to consider the process that would emphasize the social construct of writing." was "DULL." (Yes, he wrote it in capital letters.) He then made a few perfunctory comments and corrections throughout the essay.Tara, the second reviewer, offered that she liked "the use of factual research," but suggested Amy "provide [more personal] reasons for [cheerleading to be considered] a sport." Tara wanted Amy to add emotion.The social interaction encouraged by the checklist would also need to allow the free exchange of ideas and suggestions without the sense of only one right way of expressing one's self.Throughout the writing process, I emphasized the recursive nature of writing and the fact that nothing written is ever final.The purpose of peer-editing is to help students learn to be more active readers, to wean students away from constantly seeking approval from some authority, and to help teach students to rely on their editing and comprehension abilities and those of their peers.Peer editing stresses that good writing is not a single product—a one shot deal that is either done well or badly—but a process that allows students to help each other understand, improve, and refine.Both reviewers helped Ruth see that what she wrote did not convey what she wanted her reader to understand.Ruth's original opening line on her first draft had read, "There is one state where assisted suicide is legal," and she then went on to explain why it was legal there.


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