Peer response 2

Your comments are not restricted to the numbered items below: if other ideas for improving the paper occur to you, share them. 

When you're finished, email your response to your classmate and "cc" it to

Later, read your classmate's comments on your paper, and if you agree with the suggestions, revise your paper accordingly, addressing the problems and weaknesses noted by your peer.

Address the following in order:

1) Evaluate the effectiveness of the the central question in addressing the assigned topic and setting up an argument from at least two different viewpoints. If the intro question doesn't appear to address one of the topic options directly, offer suggestions for improvement.

2) Evaluate the introduction and make suggestions for improvement. In particular, consider:

3) Copy the topic sentence of each body ¶: it should be the first sentence in each body ¶.  If there is no obvious topic sentence in any body ¶, suggest one.  Make suggestions for improving existing topic sentences—note that each topic sentence should answer the intro question squarely and directly. Also identify and evaluate the thesis statement, which should appear in the conclusion: consider how effectively the thesis answers the intro question and ties together the author's primary views.

4) Evaluate the author's treatment of the opposing viewpoint(s). Does the author explain the other side of the argument? How could the opposing views be strengthened? Make suggestions for other, more effective opposing views.

5) Point out body paragraphs that seem too brief or undeveloped.  Make specific suggestions for improving underdeveloped paragraphs: don't just say "explain more;" offer concrete, helpful suggestions.

6) Consider the effectiveness of body paragraphs in content—point out weaknesses and make very specific suggestions regarding paragraph unity (one main point per paragraph).  If paragraphs have more than one point, indicate where they should be divided. 

7) Any points not convincingly explained?  What makes them unconvincing?  Offer specific suggestions for improvement.

8) Any places where you don't understand exactly what the author is trying to say?

9) Of the main points on the author's side of the argument, which is least strong? And why? Make specific suggestions in how to improve this weakest of the author's primary points.

10) Evaluate the effectiveness of the conclusion. If the conclusion is less than roughly half a page in length, suggest specific ways of expanding the paragraph.

11) Consider the effectiveness of quotations. Do they offer significant support for the author's claims, or do any seem simply "thrown in" to meet the assignment requirements? Suggest specific articles or passages that the author might quote to illustrate the paper's primary assertions more effectively. 

12) Do any of the quotes need more comment or explanation?  Which ones, and why? Point out any quotes needing more careful or smoother introduction.

13) Grammar and mechanics—special attention to Golden Rules and Nuggets; quotes and documentation details, including the works cited page; also "simple stuff."