Peer Review of Arguments: Two Stars and a Wish Plus

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SWBAT use a theme/rheme analysis and their understanding of rhetorical appeals to provide feedback to their peers.

Big Idea

Thorough peer review is beneficial for both the writer and the reviewer.

Peer Review of Arguments

70 minutes

Today students were asked to come in with two copies of their argument essays for peer review (pop argument drafts - flattened - 1.pdf).  We have done peer review a couple times in the past and the students have been thoughtful, though I realized that I had done the peer review too early, before I had read their work closely to make sure they are on the right track with the genre of writing I’m asking them to do.  In the two previous days in the library I was able to complete a formative assessment and catch a couple key organizational issues, particularly regarding their clear focus on a central argument that either defends, challenges, or qualifies the assertion of the author in the prompt.  So, this session should be more beneficial for students to hone in on the small details for their peers, which in turn will help them when revising their own pieces.

As with other sessions, I will provide some specific instructions for peer editing (Peer Review Instructions.docx) so they can practice looking at these areas for revising their own pieces, which I explain in the following video:  argument peer review.mp4.  They are the specific areas we’ve been working on—identifying the central argument, using a theme/rheme analysis to see how students are building their argument, and identify how the students are developing credibility and character (ethos—this goes back to the rhetorical analysis group presentations where they were still focusing their notion of ethos on credibility via expertise only, and not also on character through the language).  I will ask the students to annotate for these areas in groups of three (hence the two copies they brought in!), then have discussions where they discuss each essay.  I will listen in on these discussions and interject if I hear something I want to clarify and applaud, and I will also collect one copy so I can see where students are going and how they are using the revising tools we've worked on.  The students have generally been very thoughtful when doing peer editing, so expect this to take the entire class.

Next Steps:  Students will have a final draft due on Tuesday (after a three-day weekend to finish writing).