1. Before students enter the class, write the question of
the day on the board: “What is the best way for
you to edit your writing?” Allow students a few
minutes to write down an answer, and then discuss their
responses. Explain that peer editing is one of the
most useful tools they can use to edit and perfect
their writing. Why should this be? Ask the class to
share their ideas, and help them to grasp the usefulness
of having another perspective on their writing. Often
an author becomes so involved in the process of his/her
own writing that he/she cannot see subtle errors.
2. Explain to the class that today they are going to practice
evaluating their peers’ writing and give feedback to
their classmates. You may want to say something to the class
about appropriate feedback guidelines and constructive criticism
before you begin. Distribute peer editing checklists to each
student. You may want to mark the papers on the back with numbers
or words, and allow students to find their partner by searching
for the person who also has the same number or word on the
back of their paper. In some classes it may be better to allow
students to choose their partners, as some may be reluctant
to share their writing with students they are not comfortable
3. Have students get into pairs for peer editing, and give
them 15-20 minutes for this process. Float around the room
and monitor the activity closely to ensure that students are
on task and understand what they have to do. Make sure they
fill out the peer editing checklist completely.
4. You may take a few minutes after peer editing is finished
to ask the class if this was a useful process for them, and
what they gained from the experience.
5. Bring the whole class back together, and allow students
the last portion of class time to work on their essays. Encourage
them to rely on their peers and other resources before coming
to you for help. Remind them to use at least one of the three
persuasive appeals in their essays.
While students are in groups doing peer editing, they
may be assessed for correct use of essay techniques. Make
sure to assess their rough draft writing while it is in
progress, since this is the best time to correct any errors.
continue working on their rough drafts.