peer reviews to improve student writing

Peer review is said to be the most effective way of improving one’s writing but also the most hated kind of review by majority especially by those researchers or students whose works are being reviewed by their peer reviewers. The reasons for this are the following:

  • There are different kinds of criticisms which can undeniably offend the individuals and their work.
  • They tend to be ashamed and feel uncomfortable, due to the fact that other people will hear about those criticisms with regards to their writings.
  • They do not know how to handle bad reviews or response to those criticisms.
  • They also tend to lose their self-confidence and reduce their self-esteem knowing that what they did is not enough.
  • Some of them don’t actually see or understand how important these peer reviews are. Probably, they do not understand the mechanics or the purpose of being criticized.

These are just few of the various reasons why most of the students hate how peer reviews are done or conducted. But despite all of these, the main reasons of conducting these peer reviews are:

  • An individual’s way of writing is improved due to the propositions or suggestions that were given by their peer reviewers to him or her.
  • Students tend to have more knowledge on how they could write and edit their work even better.
  • A more qualified work is produced when students are trained and are oriented with the rules and standards in writing.
  • They get motivated or challenged from all those criticisms that they have received.

These peer reviews are not just beneficial to the students whose works are reviewed, but also to the reviewers since their editing skills are also developed somewhat. Peer reviewers could be anybody; even the students whose writings are reviewed can also review their fellow students’ works. By doing this, they could pin point their mistakes by reflecting in it and applying their learning to their own work. Now, in order to have a successful peer review, there must be a criteria in editing or reviewing one’s work.

The Importance of Peer Reviews

Some students don’t actually see how important peer reviews are and sometimes, they would even take their fellow students’ feedback criticisms as a witticism or a joke. They would only give simple feedback when they are asked to review someone else’s work for the reason that they do not want to hurt someone else’s feelings. But these peer reviews are essential due to the following factors:

  • Research Validation: By means of validating the research, students’ gathered data or information are accurate, and are based on facts. Another process for validating these is the submission of research proposal.
  • Quality Assurance: This technically means that one’s work is not a product of plagiarism and is based on own words and style. It should also be validated based on the criteria and standards of ethical writing.
  • Ethical writing: This basically means that the writers should be aware about their responsibilities. And that, their writings should not be questionable in terms of accuracy, fairness, and quality.
  • Writing and editing training review practices: Peer reviews are helpful for both the writer and the reviewer. For the writer, this helps them developed and improved their writings. On the other hand, the reviewers improve their critical thinking in correcting or editing their student writer’s work.

In the students’ point of view, they will be able to understand what their readers expect to read, know the individual’s suppositions or ideas, and their attitudes as they response to what they are reading about. And with the use of peer reviews, students tend to discover what aspects or areas are needed for them to improve, and what are their repetitive mistakes.

Using Peer Reviews to Improve Student Writing

Here are some ideas on how you could improve your students’ writing using peer reviews:

  • Let the students read and review other people’s work. In this way, they could compare their work by learning from the mistakes of others. They will also understand how good writing is put as a whole, and develop their own strategy or technique on how they could organize their ideas.
  • Set activities that will improve student’s reading comprehension and writing skills. This is one of the most effective way of improving one’s writing, because this expands their intellect by getting involve of the activities with efficient objectives.
  • Let other people review your students’ writings and give their individual insights. This will let the students know what other people think about their work and how they response to it. This could also be done with the use of feedback forms.
  • Criticisms are given for better output. Though students hate criticisms, these will be a great help for each of them. They just have to know how to embrace each and how to use them as their motivation to produce a more qualified work.
  • Conduct impromptu writing to exercise thinking capacity. This will definitely challenge the minds of each students since they are not given the time to prepare regarding the topic. This will develop their critical thinking and test the quality of their writing. This is done by the means of mental capacity assessment.
  • Give their own observational feedback from other student’s work. This does not just help others, but also them as the reviewer for the reason that they could learn how to formulate constructive feedback. They will also be able to realize or discover what are the same mistakes that they tend to make.

With all of these ideas to improve students’s writings, the reviewer should not have high expectations from their students or else, their students tend to get more pressured about peer reviews which sometimes results to lessen the interests of each when it comes to writing. Peer reviews should engage partnership among students by helping them build each other up rather than use these reviews to humiliate someone. If each student knows how to cherish and use these criticisms, they will most likely succeed in becoming an effective writer.

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