Peer Review Guidelines:
For this assignment, you will be responsible for reviewing one draft: the draft will receive marginal comments AND a 350-500 word write up.
Part One: Marginal Comments: Using the comments and highlighting tools on the top of your screen on Canvas, make marginal comments that prioritize the quality of source material: organization, analysis and synthesis. Use the checklist below.
Part Two: Write-up: Prioritizing the overall quality of the draft, paste your 350-500 word write-up into the comments section on the right-hand side of your screen. Read through the draft once and then ask yourself: Does this draft engage with research by citing, integrating, and analyzing source material? Does this draft examine the concrete effects (can I point to actual people, places and things?) of a specific problem? Does it analyze the specific context(s) (legal rulings, government and institutional policies, discourse communities) in which that problem unfolds? If the answer is no, then write, “this essay does not follow basic instructions for this project” and consider your work done.
If the answer is ‘yes,’ your first paragraph should explain what are the composition’s two strongest points and where are its two weakest points. Point out in as clear and focused terms as possible exactly where the draft needs attention in its articulation of the problem, how it needs to be improved and why. Start with the big problems in your first paragraph and then deal with the synthesis of researched material in your second paragraph.
And remember that there is no point in fixing smaller issues if the whole premise of the composition stands on shaky ground!
I will be grading these peer edits based on both the clarity and specificity of direction you provide for your peers, as well as your insight into the draft’s strengths and flaws. (Do not use generalizing and unhelpful language such as it flows well or I like your ideas or you do a good job with the evidence. Show evidence for your claims; your peers can be mislead by your suggestions if you do not demonstrate that you know what you are talking about, so always proceed with caution. Your peers are counting on you!)
AS A RULE OF THUMB, USE EVIDENCE FROM THE DRAFTQUOTE IT!TO MAKE YOUR POINT CLEAR.
Please use the following checklist to guide your marginal notations as well as your write-up of the draft (you should also use these as you write your draft!):
- Framing: Does the composition open with a compelling anecdote or description of a current problem, one that points to or suggests historical underpinnings? Can this anecdote or description be improved? How?
- Context: Is there a convincing and clear synthesis of various scholarly perspectives that examine the relevant and underlying cause or causes of the problem? Can the source synthesis be improved upon? How?
- Key Players: Does the essay show who, specifically suffers as a result of the existence of this problem, how they suffer, who or what caused the suffering and who benefits from it? Explain. Can you think of anything else that might improve this feature of the composition?
- Obstacles/Opposition: Is there effective, believable and thoughtful engagement with who or what stands to gain/continues to gain, whether economically, socially or politically, from the existence of this problem? Is there any meaningful account of the weaknesses in the expert arguments that the essay presents? How might you improve this feature of the composition?
- Using Sources: Does the author give clear context/summary/introduction of scholarly source material? Is the quoted material relevant and insightful? Is the material that makes a claim or draws a conclusion properly contextualized? Does the author effectively evaluate the source material by showing his or her own position on the topic/problem within that conversation? How might you improve these features of the composition?
6. Does the composition follow a line of development that moves from the descriptive to the analytical? Do sentences within a paragraph follow logically one to the next? Is a paragraph’s content organized around a clear and focused topic sentence? Do paragraphs transition logically from one to the next? How might you organize the essay so that its paragraphs are better placed in the essay? So that dense paragraphs might be clearer if they were broken up into two or even three paragraphs? So that paragraphs with a flimsy analysis might be more developed if two paragraphs were put together? So that paragraphs are better anchored to a more direct, focused topic sentence?
7.How does this essay conclude? Does it end with new insights, point to advocacy, or is it merely a repetition of what you have already encountered? How can you improve the essays conclusion?
9. Does the essay effectively make use of epigraphs, footnotes, pull quotes, images, photography, original documents, art, maps, graphs, and/or video? Are these carefully selected, arranged and various? Is the image too melodramatic or ‘obvious’ in its message? Too vague? Does the image advance the power or force of the argument? How?
10. Does each multi-modal element have a caption in MLA formatting explaining what it is?
11. Are the sources MLA formatted both in-text and in your bibliography? (please consult OWL for MLA formatting instructions or ask!)
12. How is the grammar? If you cant understand a sentence due to grammar errors, dont fix it; simply write grammar next to the sentence.
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