How to Peer Edit

It is in the process of peer editing fellow writers’ papers for my creative writing classes that I am realizing I do not know how to properly critique a paper. Yes, I am able to give grammatical corrections and, if I am taking the time, pinpoint when in a paragraph the topic sentence is no longer holding true and the thought goes off track. However, I am unable to give any advice of real importance. When reading the critiques from my entire class (unfortunately for them I was on a very short time schedule and picked first for the in class peer review. Needless to say, it was not some of my finer writing), classmates were able to make assumptions, parallels, decoding of simple words and phrases, and make all of it useful and helpful and most impressive: easy. When I give my critiques, I almost feel bad handing it in because I know that I will not be able to live up to the work that they have given me. Is this reflective as my skills as a writer? I believe that yes, it is. While I can make papers argumentative and sometimes, if I am trying VERY hard, beautiful, but rarely do i find my writing to have any meaning deeper than that easily discerned by skimming the surface. I hope that through the practice of creative thinking and critiquing I will be able to learn how to one day reach into a place where I make those connections that so many of my peers do so well.

One thought to “How to Peer Edit”

  1. I think that it would be good practice for you to start trying to critique or give critical commentary on people’s blog posts. This is a good opportunity to critique things that do not matter very much because we are all writing posts for this class and not because of the comments that we receive. One piece of advice that I would give you is to interject as much of your personal opinion in your criticism. Think about what you would do or write if this was your paper.

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