A Structured Peer Editing Session

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SWBAT work on improving the quality of their working arguments by evaluating each other’s work following a structured process.

Big Idea

Providing some structure to increase the likelihood of quality feedback so that it may translate into quality editing and quality final arguments.


In a previous lesson, students were asked the two following questions:

Does the American love Jig?

What is Jig going to do?

Students selected one question to answer in writing and have already turned it in. They are now working on drafting a written response for the second question. In the previous lesson, students outlined their argument on the left side of this "My Argument And Feedback" chart. The point of this worksheet is to have students lay down the foundation of their written argument on the left side and receive feedback on the right side. By the beginning of the period today, students have completed the right side and will hand over their paper to peers for evaluation.


10 minutes

Today students will work in pairs to give feedback to a couple of classmates’ working arguments, which have been outlined on the left side of the worksheet we are using today. I ask students to pair up. I then ask for each pair to hand over the worksheet with their working argument to another pair sitting nearby. Thus, each pair will have two papers they will be responsible for. I let them know they will get about ten minutes to read over the first paper they are responsible for and to discuss the feedback they are going to provide to its author. I have this chart with a list of suggested comments I want them to make. The suggested comments are meant to focus students on the specific qualities I have been trying to get them to develop in their writing, which are printed in bold in the middle column. Students were introduced to this chart before they started outlining their argument and were asked to attempt to meet the requirements of a quality claim, evidence, and interpretation. Today I show them the last two columns, with the red print, because I want them to comment on those particular aspects of their classmates’ writing. I have made a color copy per pair of students and I distribute it along with a red pen per pair. The clear connection is that the red pen is to be used to make the type of comments printed in red.


What I am essentially asking students to do today is to get better at identifying the strengths and weaknesses in a written argument. The idea is that if they get better at identifying these in a peer’s paper, they will also get better at identifying them in their own paper. To add purpose, I challenge students to predict the types of comments I would make about the argument they are evaluating. They have received these types of comments from me repeatedly, verbally as well as in writing, and I am challenging them to think like a teacher today as they provide praise and criticism to a classmate’s paper.

First Work of Work In Pairs

20 minutes

Students work in pairs to provide praise and criticism to the first paper they are responsible for. During this time, I walk around and listen in on their conversations. I mainly let them work on their own. I only talk to students if they appear to be really lost. During this time, I also look for a couple of papers to discuss later. I am looking for papers with more successful and less successful feedback.

After students have been working for about 10 minutes, I stop them and direct their attention to the board where I will project one of the two sample papers I have selected. I fold the paper so that we can only see the written argument, not the feedback. In a combination of a think aloud and modeling, I provide feedback to this paper. I write my notes on the board. I then unfold the paper to reveal the feedback students provided for comparison. I note what the pair of students captured and what they missed. I share what I observed as they worked. I give them suggestions for the second round. I answer any questions. 

I then ask students to turn to the second paper they received and get ready to provide better feedback.

Second Round of Work In Pairs

20 minutes

Students turn to the second paper assigned to them and provide feedback with the goal of improving feedback from the first paper. I walk around and listen in on their conversations again.

I also want us to look at a sample paper and look at the feedback provided, but this time I ask for a pair of students to volunteer their paper. I ask them to volunteer if they believe they have captured all the strengths and weaknesses that I would capture. Once I have one or two volunteered papers, I project one and follow the same process of providing my own feedback and then comparing it to the feedback students provided.