Peer Response 2

Your comments and suggestions are not restricted to the numbered items below: if other ideas for improving the paper occur to you, share them.  Feel free to mark on the draft, but write your response to the questions below on separate paper.  Give your response to the paper's author so that he or she can review your suggestions and turn in your response with his or her paper.  And in a tactful way, be mean!  Be critical!

1. After reading it through a first time, state your initial impression of the paper.

2. Evaluate the introduction and make suggestions for improvement. Consider:

  • Is the intro a fully developed paragraph?  Too brief?  Suggest how the intro could be developed more effectively: make your suggestions specific.
  • Any places where the intro is choppy?  Suggest transitions where needed.
  • Consider whether the paragraph flows smoothly into the intro question.  Suggest improvements for leading into the question.
  • Suggest improvements in the intro question itself.  Does it address the assigned topic squarely?  Does it set up the issue or topic that the body of the paper addresses?
  • 3. Underline the topic sentence of each body ¶ on the draft.  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, and that the topic sentence should be the first sentence of each body ¶. Also underline and evaluate the thesis statement, which should appear in the conclusion.

    4a) Only if the paper addresses option 1 (love), otherwise disregard: does the author focus throughout the paper on what love actually is or feels like, or does the author stray in places to different matters such as what love should be like, or some other topic related to love but not essential to describing what love is or what it feels like; also consider whether the author strays from the assignment by focusing on types of love other than romantic love (which the assignment calls for exclusively).  Lastly, evaluate the author's selection of love poetry: consider other poems or song lyrics that might work effectively with different points.

    4b) Only if the paper addresses option 1 (love), otherwise disregard: does the paper present the author's ideas or the poets'?  That is, does the discussion focus more on the poetry or the author's views on the topic?  Explain.  (The assignment asks that the author answer the intro question with his or her own thoughts, referring to the poems mainly as "secondary sources," like articles of criticism or research, used only to illustrate and or support the author's own views.)

    4c) Only if the paper addresses option 2 (death poems), otherwise disregard: comment on the author's interpretation of the poetry, and offer suggestions for other aspects of the poems that might help the author improve the paper.

    5. Reread the assignment instructions and requirements carefully (you can use your cell phone for this), and note whether or not the paper meets all the stated requirements.

    6. Identify the weakest point in the body of the paper (excluding introduction and conclusion) and make concrete, specific suggestions for improvement.

    7. Identify the second weakest point in the body of the paper (not introduction or conclusion) and here, too, make concrete, specific suggestions for improvement.

    8. Make specific suggestions for improving underdeveloped paragraphs.  Also point out "busy" or overly long paragraphs that make more than one major point—indicate where the author should break these paragraphs into smaller units.

    9. Identify places where the paper needs more evidence or illustration to make points more effective and offer specific suggestions.

    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. Suggest improvements in the author's use of quotations. Too many quotes?  Too few?  Suggest specific passages or additional poems that the author might quote to illustrate better the paper's primary assertions.  Suggest improvements in the introduction of quotes (Nugget 3).

    12. Grammar and mechanics—especially "simple stuff," golden rules and nuggets, and quotes and documentation.  Are the poems cited and documented correctly (See QD4)?

    Q4lb ("lb" for "line breaks"): slashes, with one typed space before and after each, between lines of poetry not set off as block quotes.
    Q4b ("b" for "block"): block indention of more than three lines of poetry as they appear in the original source.

    Q4ln ("ln" for "line numbers"): put line numbers, not page numbers, in parentheses for quotations of poetry.