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1. When you are editing a peer student’s paper, a good starting point is to find and list three strengths and three weaknesses. You don’t have to go sentence by sentence, but try to be relatively specific. For example, don’t just write, “This is good. I get your point.” Instead, you might write something like the following:



  • Your thesis statement was clear and interesting. 

  • The whole bit about police recruitment strategies supports your argument. 

  • I liked how you took legitimate arguments for the other side into account.



  • The whole bit about juries was interesting, and maybe it’s part of your argument, but I couldn’t understand how it was connected to what you were saying just before.

  • There are funny typos in the paper.

  • The third part felt repetitive.


2. When editing one another’s papers, use reading guide principles to make suggestions for improvement. Does the paper develop its thesis statement, and does the argument flow clearly? Can you easily summarize what each section is about?


  • If you have time, try to go through some of the same exercises you would for your own paper. For example, write down each paragraph's keywords along the margin, underline key sentences, and bracket off ones that aren't as helpful.


  • If you can tell what the essay is trying to say and can say it better, take a stab at it. Do it only for 1 or 2 key points, though.


3. If someone has a lot of grammatical errors, go through one or two paragraphs to point out as examples, and leave the rest.

Basic Reading & Writing Guide


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