General Instructions on Peer Review



Peer Reviewers

The peer reviewer should sign her or his name at the end of the paper.

Copies should be made darkly enough so that I can read the comments.

If necessary, reduce the copy size so that all of your comments will appear on the photocopy.

Draft submitters

Drafts should cover items from the Checklist for Papers. (Your final draft should also cover the Paper Writing Guidelines.)


Style and Content

You may make comments in the margins, but there should also be some general comments regarding the draft at the end or on a separate sheet. This may be a few sentences to a couple of paragraphs long.

Some of you may use a reference system, marking points to comment on with letters of the alphabet and providing the actual comments on a separate sheet. This is particularly effective when the comments are long or if your handwriting is not clear.

There should be a balance of critique and appreciation in your overall reflections.


Common errors to look for that are not covered in the Checklist for Papers:

1. Don't mix "one" and "they" (Incorrect usage: One should be careful to observe their surroundings. Correct usage: One should be careful to observe one's surroundings.)

2. Usually, it is not necessary to precede a direct quotation with "He states,". Rather, simply end the previous sentence with a semi-colon to indicate that it is related to the quoted passage to follow. Use your own good judgment on this point.

3. Often "human beings" or "people" is a better choice than "humans."

4. Titles of books and foreign words should be italicized.

5. Use Arabic (1, 2, 3,...) rather than Roman numerals (i, ii, iii,...) for page numbers, footnotes/endnotes.

6. Avoid the use of contractions (e.g. "I've" "can't").

7. Do not separate a verb phrase that begins with "but" with a comma (Incorrect usage: He wanted to go to the store, but decided not to. Correct usage: He wanted to go to the store but decided not to.)

8. When referring to culture or geographical region, "West" and "Western" are capitalized.


Peer reviewers: Remember to make a photocopy of the draft with your comments on them. Give one copy to the original author, and submit the other copy to the instructor by the due date for comments on drafts.