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Jayne Miller By Jayne Miller • May 16, 2015

Peer Editing Tips for Final Papers

We could all benefit from another pair of eyes. This includes those final papers you’re working on right now.

That’s why we recommend reaching out to peers in one of our discussion threads and taking it to our collaboration space for a little peer editing. 

Collaboration_Location

 

As you read and comment on each other's work, here are a few tips for making your peer editing more impactful.

Ask for What You Want

You’ll get the most out of your peers if you tell them exactly what you need help with. Someone who needs a serious copyedit (lower-order concerns) will want others to focus on spelling, grammar, and formatting. Those in need of structural help (higher-order concerns) will want editors to overlook minor flaws in favor of big picture ideas and a paper’s overall thesis.

Knowing if you need higher or lower-order help will focus the feedback you get.



Clarity

Question number one for a peer reviewer: do you understand what the author is trying to say? If you’re confused by their overall thesis - or perhaps their supporting evidence is cloudy - some of the best feedback you can give is identifying where this happens and what might help improve it.

Color Coding

Our inline editor is pretty handy. You can write on the document, comment, and even highlight. We’ve seen folks rock the highlighting feature by color coding different types of feedback. Yellow for typos, green for awkward sentence structure.

By color coding your feedback, the author will be able to quickly scan and get a sense of what they'll need to most work on during their revision process.

Identify Patterns

As someone reviewing a peer’s work, keep an eye out for patterns.

If you’re seeing the same errors, repeated words, or examples, note the overall trend instead of trying to track down every instance. This will give the author direction and perspective without you scouring the document. They can take care of that. Saves time, helps the author out.

Content

Examples, everyone. Our collaboration space was made for sharing examples.

What’s nice about our in-line editor is that you can leave comments and/or start a discussion on the paper you’re reviewing. If you have great content that might support a peer’s work - or showcase a different approach to the assignment - share away. Everyone wins.

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