Instructions: Write “reviewed by” and your name at the top of the draft you will review. Read the complete draft through once and underline places where you feel a word has been used inappropriately, or where you find an awkward sentence or phrase. Make any other marginal comments you think will be helpful.
Below I’ve provided a list of questions based on the elements required for a successful final draft. After reading the draft through once, write out answers to these questions. Do not answer with “yes” or “no”: provide substantive feedback and examples for each one. If you have a critique or a suggestion, be sure to provide a specific example of what you mean.
- Does the introduction succeed at getting your attention? How might the writer better use ethos, logos, and/or pathos to immediately begin making a case for why this is an important problem that deserves our attention?
- Is there a thesis statement somewhere in the introduction that clearly lays out a brief summary of what the problem is and why we should care about it? How could the thesis be made more specific?
- Does the paper spend a significant amount of time (at least a paragraph or two) discussing the problem’s history? And in that discussion, is the history framed so that it helps the reader understand why this problem is so urgent today? If not, do you have any suggestions for making the history feel more relevant to the present state of the problem?
- Does the paper provide current examples or incidents that show how the problem is still alive and relevant today? If so, how effective are these examples? Is there anything that could be added or expanded on?
- Does the paper summarize the various debates, perspectives, and arguments made by credible people and organizations about the problem? The paper should not just summarize them, but also critically evaluate them—the writer should offer (informed) opinions on which views seem the most credible and likely to be helpful. Do you have any suggestions about how the writer can improve in this area?
- Evaluate the writer’s use of multi-modal argumentation:
- Are there a variety of different kinds of multi-modal elements? (They can all be images, but you should have more than one and several different types: graphs, illustrations, photographs, etc. Other kinds of multi-modality such as youtube links would also be great.)
- All multi-modal elements should add something substantial to the argument, even if it’s just pathos. Are there any that don’t seem to be doing much work for the argument? Should they be deleted/replaced, or could the writer fix the problem by talking about the image more directly in the text?
- What is the most rhetorically effective multi-modal element that the writer uses, and why do you say so?
- Evaluate the writer’s integration of information from research sources:
- Is the writer generally making good choices about when to quote and when to paraphrase or summarize information from his/her sources? Remember that you should quote only when the exact wording is actually essential to your argument!
- Is all information from sources—including paraphrases, summaries, and images—properly cited in MLA format?
- How well is the writer integrating information from his/her sources? Is the information from sources being clearly introduced, and followed up with commentary making sure the reader understands how this information is relevant to the overall argument? What could be improved?
- How would you describe the writer’s overall tone? Is it a good fit for the subject?
- Even if the writer adopts a somewhat casual tone, his/her writing should still be grammatically correct. Do you notice any patterns of error (frequent misused commas, semicolons, etc)?
What is the paper’s single greatest strength? Be sure to upload your response here for credit when you’re finished, as well as to your assigned peer review partner’s draft so they can view your comments.
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