Peer Editing As a Tool of Improving Literary Skills

In numerous universities, professors are happy to practice reviewing written assignments with the involvement of students. Checking the friend’s essay, some graduates are completely confused; they do not comprehend the extent of their authority and doubt their own competence to carry out similar tasks. Learners become angry with an educator, who stand them in such an embarrassing situation. We try to figure out what is the benefit of akin pursuits.

Peer Editing, What Is It

Accede, only a few writers are confident in their own judgments and talents enough to be named absolutely understandable to readers. When we finish investigating a certain problem, we consider ourselves experts in the chosen field. Some scientists may suspect themselves of hypocrisy because they believe that only the last ignoramus can be ignorant of the life of Aristotle or the theory of gravity.

Most of us frequently forget that persons have other interests and hobbies, attributing own passions to them. Peer editing is one of the most efficient tools. It is allowing you to see the text through the eyes of an inexperienced observer. Experienced reviewers clarify whether the essay you wrote is relevant to the topic or takes the follower to a completely different issue.

Constructive criticism will facilitate rightly organize the structure of the narrative and choose an acceptable style of writing. Furthermore, this practice will accustom you to demonstrate the composition to a wide audience. You will guess the reaction of people, adjusting the plot as to their wishes.

What Opportunities Peer Editing Gives Students

We are dealing with an excellent tactic of mutual support. A penman is aware of own mistakes and signs of genius, while editors improve the texts, correcting another’s errors. Their dominant functions are as follows.

  • To acquaint an author with the position of the reader
  • Suggest options for improving the letter
  • Adequately respond to critical reviews
  • Brainstorm for alternative versions

Clearly, a similar practice initially may seem daunting. It is especially relevant for timid students. By exchanging opinions and documents with peers, you will preferably comprehend the potential risks when reviewing someone else’s drafts. A lot of novice writers have a chance to realize themselves. But if the editor completely concentrates on the task at hand.

Peer editing is a quite complex and painstaking process, requiring patience, tact, and strong nerves. You cannot criticize work without a parallel proposal for constructive solutions. To date, there are numerous manuals that teach this art.

Do not forget about intuition because the follower always feels the gaffes made in the presentation of the material. Probably, he/she is not able to accurately convey own feelings, but he realizes the presence of poor-quality composition. Editing is aimed at improving the semantic component and literary skills. Regardless of your status, treat each text as your own offspring.

Peer Editing Checklist

Before proceeding to direct adjustments, indicate your data and the essay’s theme being tested. Observance of such a formal procedure allows you to establish cooperation with the editor. You will be not lost in a bale of similar assignments.

The transcript is divided into the next structural blocks:

  1. The organization includes an introduction, a body, and conclusions. Please note that the preface should be concise in scope and contain a clear author’s thesis. It is obliged to grab the attention of the follower, playing the role of bait. The main part of the article consists of thematic paragraphs, each of which formulates a certain idea and findings. Inference confirms or refutes an original statement, summarizing the proposed evidence.
  2. Consistency – clauses are given in a logical sequence, without jumping from one thought to another. For transitions, the litterateur uses introductory words, intriguing facts or statistics.
  3. Content -for each statement, proofs should be presented, based on one’s own observations or authoritative sources. Choose exact designs, avoiding ornate and abstract phrases; the comfort of reading is created through variations of simple and complex sentences.
  4. Literacy – indicate spelling, grammatical, and punctuation mistakes. Pay attention to uncoordinated fragments or topics that contain offensive clauses or hints.

Steps to Write a Stellar Peer Review

Editing serves as a new business for you, hence, for a high-quality verification of the paper, you should apply the already worked out scheme.

The latter involves the following components:

1. Understanding the Task

If you absolutely do not perceive what the report is about, give up reviewing; it is hard to improve the text on the solar system in the absence of knowledge on this subject. Ask yourself about the original penman’s intentions and style of narration. Perhaps the writer wanted to compare the equivalent events or emphasize the relevance of the forgotten phenomenon.

You should also follow the recommendations of your tutor, certainly, he or she clearly defined the evaluation criteria, which you should rely on. If the submitted material meets all the requirements, you are definitely fortunate. In the opposite event, you have to take a pencil and fix all the inaccuracies noted.

2. Follow the Instructions

Sometimes you are provided with a list of control queries or tests that are mandatory for familiarization. You may find these data at the end of the textbook or manual, most frequently, there is a situation when it is necessary to apply for additional explanations to the educator. Do this as soon as possible to not re-do the work again. Clarify all details and expectations of the teacher.

It is possible to obtain a copy of the essay in order to devote more time to check it while at home. Absolutely, not everyone will be able to edit the text in the fussy atmosphere of the audience. Quality activity requires silence and complete peace of mind.

Possibly, your tutor wants to hold a seminar where you have to voice an essay out loud, read the notes made, and then heed to the class’s comments. The pedagogue acts as a moderator observing the procedure; you are obliged to thank for the remarks received and answer all the questions.

3. Read a Composition

Some students immediately begin to modify, even without reading the text. Haste in such a matter may turn into a real catastrophe, both for the editor and for the author. You should completely re-read the material, as fast editing will raise suspicions of your objectivity.

A thoughtful journey through the report will aid to perceive the thinking style of a classmate and get an idea of his/her intentions. If you are dealing with a narrative, make sure that the author acts as a storyteller; in the case of comparison, evaluate the effectiveness of its contrast. The writer must provide a clear statement and confirm it with convincing arguments. Meanwhile, the structure of the presentation ought to be distinguished by coherence and consistency.

As a reviewer, you must clearly distinguish the introduction from the conclusions, follow the smoothness of the transitions, and criticize the understatement. Unexplained intentions or concepts are raters to demystify, rather than to speculate about their meaning.

4. Surface Review

The comments, thoughts, and emotions that occurred during the reading process should be recorded on the draft. It allows you to adjust the notes: you move from one thematic paragraph to the next. Then, you will discard the insufficiently reasoned options and focus on the main oversights.

Besides, this is another method to improve grammar – use the marking in the margin to indicate the location of the error location. Emphasize unsuccessful or ambiguous phrases, explaining the reason for their insolvency; bear in mind that the first clause should lead to deeper reading. Is he coping with his task? If the answer is negative, write down your impression and try to find a way out.

Arguably, there were some controversial items or insufficient evidence; any argument should be supported by proofs, preferably from scientific sources. How well did the author work on a ten-point scale? How many citations does he give in the course of the plot?

5. Build a Response

Frequently, part of the review process is to complete a worksheet containing your assessment. You write the classmate’s data and the topic of a proven essay. Obviously, the editor is obliged to ascertain that he comprehends the feedback left because the penman seeks to get the maximum effect from the expert.

Chiefly, try to be detailed and write down all the comments. A remake of the type “A structure might be better” or “It’s good, but it’s worthwhile to work hard” will not clarify the situation. Tell the litterateur specifically what personally did not suit you in the composition. Specify strong and weak sides, do not skimping on tips for improving the letter.

Here are some phrases that may be used in the review:

  • “The example presented does not confirm your hypothesis, because…”
  • “I do not quite comprehend what you were going to say in this paragraph, that’s why.”
  • “This paragraph utterly gets out of the narrative, leading to confusion”

In all the proposals, there is a place for prescribing the cause of your doubts and discontent. It is not necessary to address these word forms. They serve as a reminder that every critical moment needs to be explained that the writer has the opportunity to amend a substandard fragment.

Bias may interfere with an effective overview, so try to be tolerant of the chosen topic or the personality of the author himself. Refrain from commenting if you are not able to cope with your emotions. Politics or space cannot cause your enthusiasm, but your aim is to edit the text, not evaluate the taste of the writer.

Put yourself in the litterateur’s place to be convinced of the reasonableness of key positions. Educate yourself in a versatility that will significantly expand your horizons and explore things from different angles. It is especially difficult to edit material that violates your personal beliefs. You can mentally object to it while recognizing its excellent structure and skillfully selected facts.

Such an attitude will create a reputation for you as a demanding reviewer who may separate personal interests from the client’s needs. Focus on strong arguments, doubting their usefulness. Maybe, they will raise questions from opponents, which you must provide.

The presentation of the remarks also has a huge significance, as a rule, they consist of 3-5 descriptive sentences, following the logic of the author’s presentation. Avoid mistakes because the editor is distinguished by fanatical literacy and a moderate style of writing. You may edit the text with your own efforts, but it will be ideal to give it to a competent friend or collaborators of the training laboratory.

6. Only Constructive Criticism

As already indicated above, the goal of peer editing is to find a tool to improve the work. True, do not overload the penman with critique, forgetting about the positive aspects. Try to balance the flow of bad and good news to encourage future cooperation.

Due to the high degree of responsibility, a lot of graduates are nervous, giving and accepting texts for evaluation. The author is afraid of negative testimonials, while reviewers are afraid of revenge from a classmate when it comes to sharing their opuses. Do not worry too much and tear your hair.

If you perceive this duty as a means to provide reasonable support to a novice writer, you are apparently to be able to create an objective and adequate review. One way to maintain constructiveness is positive thinking. Find an excellent thesis and show it at the beginning of the paragraph. The latter can be fundamental or detailed; in any occasion, praise will support the author when you begin to bring his weak spots.

Each time remind yourself that the text is written by someone other than you; do not ask to rewrite the material but make suggestions for its improvement. Avoid the word “must” because you are trying to pressure on the litterateur. The authors are much easier to take advice, formulated in a soft manner, rather than a critical tone.

Thus, one of the harder functions is to review the work of comrades. In the process of reading you are seized with embarrassment, fear, pity, sometimes anger, and a desire to annoy. Recollect that an experienced editor is able to detach himself from own feelings and completely focuses on the document.

Even constructive criticism is uneasy to hear and perceive, as writers give a lot of efforts and emotions into their compositions. Your task consists of learning to distinguish the personality from the text because even the authors of bestsellers offer awful drafts. It is scrupulous editing transforms them into powerful catchy plots. It is worth spending the time to evaluate each thematic block through reason and intuition.