Using Peer Review to Improve Student Writing

Having students give feedback to one another on their papers can have many advantages: the students get opportunities to develop their ability to give constructive feedback, they receive advice on their drafts, they have a broader audience for their work than just a single instructor, and they see different approaches other students have taken in responding to an assignment. However, peer review has to be carefully managed in order for students to take the process seriously; students tend to be skeptical of the value of receiving feedback from their fellow students rather than instructors, and to regard peer review sessions that provide vague or tangential feedback as “busywork.” This technique first describes general considerations that can help improve the quality of the feedback students offer one another before describing several approaches to peer review.



University of Michigan Sweetland Center for Writing