Peer Editing Sheet

Peer Editing Worksheet

Reviewer:________________________Author of the Essay:____________________________ 

A Note on Doing Peer Editing: You should treat doing peer review like you’re reading what your worst enemy just wrote in a Facebook comment. Your job is to point out all the mistakes and weaknesses (except, of course, in this context say it in a nice way). You are doing your peer a favor by pointing out problems and a disservice by failing to do so. The more things they can correct and strengthen before turning in their paper, the better their paper will be, and the better their chances of getting a good grade. DO NOT BE SHY ABOUT CRITICIZING…however, don’t forget that it’s possible to be both critical and kind. Think about the tone you’d like someone to use to point out areas for improvement in your paper and do that! 

How I Grade Peer Editing: First, I look for completeness. Did the reviewer complete each part of the review? For each incomplete or poorly completed portion, the reviewer loses points. Next, as I read the paper, I’m looking for problems. For each problem I find in the final paper that you didn’t catch in the peer review, you lose points for the peer review. If you did catch the problem but the author doesn’t correct it in the final draft, the author loses points from their responsiveness score. 

Where indicated on the peer editing sheet, you should give each section a score out of 10. 10/10=You should be teaching this class. 9/10=I don’t see any problems or any way to improve this, maybe the teacher knows but I don’t. 8/10=You fulfilled the requirement but there are ways to make it better. 7/10=You met the minimum requirement, but this needs to either be rewritten or substantially revised. 6/10=You should probably to start this section from scratch. 5/10=Stand in the corner facing the wall. 

Any score below 9 should have specific comments on how to improve or at least an explanation what the problem is. “Add more facts” is not specific. Explain what the problem is in a way that is specific enough for the author to be able to identify it and fix it.


Is the table listing stakeholders and their concerns/values well-formatted and easy to read? /10

I. Intro Paragraph. Score Everything out of 10 

1. Does the introduction to the issue make you interested or care? Score: 

2. Does the introduction make clear what the core issue is? Score: 

3. What is the thesis statement? (Write it below) Is the thesis statement written in a way that’s intelligible? Score:

4. From the thesis statement is it clear what position the author will take on the issue and how they will support their position? Hint: Here’s a good structure, “In this paper, I argue X because Y” Score: 

5. Is there a clear outline/roadmap? I.e., By only reading the roadmap, can you easily identify the content and order of the main sections of the paper? Score: 

6. Are there any awkward sentences or transitions in the intro section? Please indicate them on the draft so they can be rewritten. (Underline the sentence and write AWK

II. General

As you go through the paper, for EACH paragraph, assess the following: 

Clarity: As you go through the paper, underline and write AWK next to any sentence that you had to read twice to understand or has awkward wording that should be improved. 

Structure 1: Each topic sentence (i.e., the first sentence of each paragraph) should indicate what the rest of the paragraph is about. On the draft, next to the topic sentence of each paragraph give it a score out of 10 for how well it captures the content of the paragraph

Structure 2: Does the paper follow the 1 idea=1 paragraph rule? Or are there several main ideas a paragraph? Indicate any places where a paragraph might be broken into smaller ones. 

Headings: Does each major section of the paper have a heading? If not, note in the draft where headings would be helpful to the reader. 

Flow: For each paragraph indicate any places where it’s not clear how one thought connects to the next. (This applies both within paragraphs and between paragraphs). That is, if you’re struggling to follow how ideas within or between paragraphs relate, make a note in the relevant place on the draft.

III. Exposition Section: Quotes and Support:

When explaining a position or an author’s view, it’s important to use direct quotes to show that you’re not putting words in someone’s mouth. For each important claim attributed to an author (use your judgment), does the paper provide appropriate textual evidence or support for the position being attributed to the author in question? Also, quotes that are used in this way should be interpreted by the author in their own words. For example,

Philosopher X argues that P because “[quote from original text].” In other words, […].

Philosopher X supports P because [put the quote in your own words here].

Make sure that:

  1. For any major points attributed to a philosopher’s view there is textual evidence to show that the author actually holds this view.
  2. The author of this paper interprets in their own words what the quoted philosopher means.

IV. Argumentative Sections 

Support for central and/or controversial claims: 

In this section, circle any claims the author makes that you think a general audience would NOT accept without further argument or evidence. Write MORE SUPPORT.

Does the author provide appropriate argument or evidence for their central and/or controversial claims? Indicate on the draft if evidence/better evidence is needed. 

A. Statement of The Author’s Position on the Issue: 

Clarity: Is the author’s position on the issue clearly articulated? Score out of 10.

Support: Is the author’s justification for their position clear? Can you easily identify the reasons and arguments the author uses to support their position? If not, explain here. Score out of 10.


Are the reasons, evidence, arguments the author uses weakly, moderately, or strongly persuasive? Test: Would someone who disagrees with the author’s position find the reasons, evidence, and arguments persuasive? If they aren’t persuasive, indicate which ones aren’t and remedies (if possible). Score out of 10.


Are the reasons and evidence used to justify the author’s position relevant to the issue? That is, is there a strong logical connection between the evidence/reasons and the conclusion being true? If not, indicate. Score out of 10.

Reasoning/Relating back to the thesis

Does the author explain how the reasons support their position on the issue/thesis or is the reader left to figure out the inferences themselves? That is, does the author make explicit how their reasons and evidence support their thesis or as the reader are you left to try to figure that out on your own. Score out of 10

B. Objections/Opposing View 

Clarity: Is the counter-argument/objection clearly stated? Score out of 10.

Strength: Is the counter-argument strong or weak? I.e., At first glance, could this be a genuine problem for the author’s view or is the author setting up a staw man? Score out of 10?

Reasoning: Does the author clearly explain how the counter-argument potentially undermines the author’s position or is the reader left to figure that out on their own? Explain if it’s unclear. Score out of 10 

C. The Reply to the Objections 

Note: A counterargument/reply should not be a mere restatement of the author’s initial position. It should directly address the objection to their view and show how either (a) it rests on false premises or (b) does not lead to the conclusion the objector supposes. If the paper has 2 objections, split the space for comments.

: Is the reply clearly stated and easy to understand? I.e., Could you easily restate in your own words what the reply is? Score out of 10

Reasoning: Does the author explain the logical connection for how the reply undermines or defuses the objection? Make sure that they are not merely restating their original position. They must articulate why the objection fails. Score out of 10

Strength: How persuasive is the author’s reply to the objection. I.e., Do they provide good evidence and or arguments to support their reply/undermine the objection? Hint: Would the opponent to their view possibly change their view/concede the objection? Score out of 10. 

IV. Overall: (Note: I weigh this section heavily when I grade the peer reviews)

List the top 3 specific things the author could do to improve the paper.  (“Add more facts” or “add more arguments” is not specific).

Does the paper contain any novel or creative ideas?

How likely is it that this paper would persuade someone who wasn’t already sympathetic to the author’s position?