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#WeekendWatch: Peer Review Commenting Strategies

#WeekendWatch: Peer Review Commenting Strategies published on 15 Comments on #WeekendWatch: Peer Review Commenting Strategies

Next week, you will share a draft of your professional bio with your writing group, and then you’ll provide feedback on the drafts of the others in your group. This video from the University of Minnesota Writing Studies program will help you figure out how to provide constructive and helpful feedback.

The MIT video on our Writing Groups page gives you some overarching suggestions for what peer review looks like. This University of Minnesota video gives you six specific ways that you can give your writing group members feedback. If you are unsure how to make constructive comments, spend five minutes on this video. You’ll know exactly the kind of comments I’m looking for once it’s finished.

Peer Review: Commenting Strategies (video, 5m4s)

Note: This video has closed captioning, so it does not need a transcript.



I found this video about peer review to be very helpful. I usually struggle at giving others feedback on their papers because I do not want to be to harsh and hurt their feelings. After watching this video, I learned many tips that will help me with the constructive comments that I will be giving my group on their professional bio. I learned that you need to look at the global aspects (the big picture) and then look at the local aspects (grammar, spelling, etc.). I found that helpful because usually during my first time through the paper I make comments, however, I should read the paper as a whole before making any comments. Like I previously mentioned, I do not like to be mean with my comments if I do not like a part of the paper, so using an I statement will help make it be nicer to say how I feel. In the past, when I write compliments I do not usually explain why I gave them, so from now on I know you have to justify why you said something “sounds good”. Finally, the most important aspect that I got out of this video is that at the end of the writing you should write an end note (short paragraph) to the write to give them a summary of what you thought and what they might need to work on.

I agree with you Danielle! I don’t like being mean in my comments, but after watching the video I get that it’s just helping them improve their writing and if the comments aren’t honest then there’s no room for improvement. I will generally just read and edit as I go along, and rarely think of the global aspect because for me looking at grammar is a lot easier than being able to critique the entire paper. Since watching the video I know that if I take time to read the entire document, and then dissect it, then I will be helping the writer a lot more and that’s the goal of giving feedback. Also, I have never used endnotes at the end of a paper, but if you think about it everyone wants to get a lot of feedback on their papers so having a location where they summarize their thoughts on everything is a really good idea that I’m going to start using.

Danielle, I’ve struggled a bit with “I” statements before too. It’s easy to go wrong with them and turn them into personal attacks: “I don’t like your thesis”. Similarly, blank compliments don’t offer anything constructive. I find the most important thing being to explain any remark. Any compliment or criticism needs explanation to not only show we read what the writer is saying, but have an idea about why it works or doesn’t work well.

I’m not sure if the end paragraph is the most important or not. I remember often getting those from high school English teachers, but when revising I would always focus on the individually highlighted criticisms. At the end, I would make sure my changes were in line with my expectations and those made in the end paragraph made by my teacher. I think one of the best ways to use that reviewer’s paragraph is to highlight rubric criteria for which places need the most work to hit all of the points.

This was definitely a helpful video. I have taken several English classes throughout the last three years, but none of them have summarized peer commenting as well as the video did. The point about focusing on the global aspect before local aspects is critical to me because I have a tendency to focus solely on the local aspects when reading through a paper or essay. The second consideration that struck me was don’t just write “sounds good!”. Explain what you mean with that. I have been on the receiving end of that comment many times by fellow classmates and it doesn’t help at all. Giving a summary of your impressions is great as well because sometimes people comment on essays in such a random fashion, that I am confused which comment applies where.

I do remember that for English 1105 and 1106, we had to peer review our classmates draft essays every once in a while and I would get great constructive criticism that usually built a C paper to a B paper. Peer commenting, as mentioned, could be either positive or negative, but one must be able to elaborate on why the content was good or bad. When I peer review others essays, I would definitely point out everything that needs attention in order for the person at the other end to be happy with final results. Everyone has their own critique style but goals and needs will be met at the end of the day.

This was very helpful. I have never taken a course that teaches about how to review other papers. I have given bad reviews and received bad reviews before. I think that I will be able to provide quality reviews after this video. In my field, code review is a common thing to do. I think I can apply these concepts to the code reviews that I do. Learning how to do proper reviews will be an important skill going forward.

This video gave a great outline on how to be successful at peer review. It reminded me of some of the articles we read about emailing in earlier. Daily Discussion Posts – the ones about sending emails with a positive tone even when trying to tell someone what to do. Peer review is a form of communication, and communication should be positive in order to maintain efficiency and productivity. I personally avoid people editing my draft because I hate reading what I did wrong (I understand this is not a good trait to have). So I agree that it is important to have positive comments and a summary endnote. I understand about the local vs global editing, but I think I will still correct spelling and grammar as I read through it.

I think an important point that you mentioned is the fear of failure in others’ eyes. I too want feedback on my writing but am scared to open it up to my peers and sometimes my professors to read over. However, it is important to acknowledge you cannot get better all by yourself and do need to call on your resources to help. You need to trust that those reading over your work have your best intentions at heart and will not unnecessarily be rude or mean in their comments.

I’m an editor for a history research journal, so I’ve spent a lot of time editing papers. The end note paragraph, the global review before local revisions–these are staples to the work that I’ve done before. Especially the latter, because why fix sentence grammar if the backbone of the piece isn’t quite there yet?

Something I haven’t heard before was the positive comments. In past English classes, something done well was denoted by a symbol, perhaps a check or an underlined “good”. But I really like the idea of explaining WHY you’re saying something was done well. The whole point of a paper is to make it better, so if the author did something well, why not tell them what exactly it was so they can reproduce those results throughout their work. Loved this idea!

I think the video on peer review brought up many good points and guidelines to follow when conducting our own peer reviews. In my opinion, the most important point brought up by the video was to focus on the global before the local. This makes sense logically because the reader must read through the entire paper before just jumping in to edit. Furthermore, I feel like this method of peer review was never really covered in the English classes I have had beforehand. I will try to keep this new method of review in mind as I edit my group members bios.

I felt that the University of Minnesota video was extremely helpful, it had a lot of new information in it for me. For instance, I never knew the difference between local aspects and global aspects in an essay, but I think when editing an essay it’s important to place an equal amount of focus on each. Additionally, I really liked what the video said about having elaborative comments. I know a lot of times when I edit an essay I’ll highlight something and will say “good job” without actually saying what’s good about it. My criticism would be much more effective if I specified exactly what I liked or didn’t like about something.

This video was definitely very helpful in light of the peer review assignment this week. I never realized there was an art to commenting on a peer’s paper. After watching this video, I realized in the past I have given vague comments. The example of the “sounds good” comment stuck out to me. I am most definitely guilty of this, and I know for this assignment I will work on leaving more constructive comments.

As a senior that has not taken an English course since my senior year in high school, I found this video to be a great refresher on how to provide constructive feedback to my peers. In this digital age that we are experiencing, it is easy to post comments on articles and social media posts or leave reviews on Yelp or Amazon. What we don’t often do is offer anything constructive in these comments, especially since it is easy to hide behind our computer or cell phone screen. By asking questions, using “I” statements, and offering suggestions during the peer review process, I hope to be an asset to those individuals in my writing group this semester.

I found this video very helpful for me because It taught me how to efficiently comment and review peer’s paper. After watching the video, I realized that I had done almost everything wrong. For instance, I think I barely used the ” I statement” and I always commented something like “Sounds good”. So I will use what I’ve just learned when I give feedback to my group members.

What I can say is that it is sometimes hard to be a reviewer especially in the situation whether your peer’s draft is too good or too bad. When it is too good, to find a mistake or a thing too comment would surely be a pain in a neck which is why I always end up just complimenting him or her in the end. The same case for when the draft is too bad I tend to feel obligated to comment as I worry that he might think I did not appreciate his or her work.

Thankfully, the video gave out tips on how to handle both situations which is to put reasons for the positive comments while putting ‘I’ statements to address the problems we have with the draft. I do think I can implement it for my future peer reviews.

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