Peer Critique Letter
To strengthen your
own critical reading skills (which will help you analyze and revise your own working
drafts) and to provide the response of an informed and concerned reader to your classmate (which
will help her/him revise the working draft), you will be writing critique letters
to your assigned peer critique group partner for papers 1,2, 4, and 5. Your critique letter will respond to, analyze, praise, and make suggestions
for revision for the working draft of the assignment.
To critique means
to provide a careful and exact evaluation or commentary of an object. Therefore,
before you can write your critique, you must study the object carefully.
For the working drafts this means that you should
consider the following:
- how well the working draft responds and corresponds to and fulfills to the individual paper assignment
- the quality of the thesis statement (it should introduce the argument that writer is making in the paper)
- the organization
and logic of the essay
- the quality
and credibility of the supporting evidence (does the writer back up his/her assertions with specific examples from sources, such as news articles?)
- the stylistic
clarity of the writing (is the writing grammatically correct and stylistically appropriate?)
After you have
carefully assessed the working draft on these points, you are ready to write
your critique letter. Keep in mind that this is a letter to the writer, not to or for me; therefore,
write directly to the student author.
As a critique,
the purpose of the letter is to give the writer responses, advice, and criticism
that will help her/him revise the essay. Therefore, your critique letter must
- Thorough: your critique letter should address all of the major aspects of the working draft and assignment.
- Prioritized: after your opening, your critique letter should proceed in descending order of importance. For example, if the paper has no thesis, you need to state that immediately, as an item of top priority which the writer must address in her/his revision.
- Specific: your critique letter, like any good piece of academic writing, must be concrete and specific. For example, if the writer has not provided enough textual examples, don't just tell the writer, suggest where a quotation would help (and why). If the organization is confusing, suggest a better arrangement.
- Honest yet sensitive: your critique letter should help the writer revise his/her paper so that it is the strongest, most effective paper possible. If there are problems with the paper, don't shy away from stating them. Just remember that you are writing to another student, so be sensitive.
In the common
parlance meaning of the word, we tend to think of criticism as pointing out
faults, failings, and negative features. However, this is only one dimension
of criticism. Criticism also includes simply making the writer aware of what
he/she has said; thus, you may want to summarize or paraphrase parts of the
draft. Most importantly, criticism includes praise. If the writer does something you
like, let her/him know that.
Writing a critique
letter requires time, thought, and care. You will need to plan your letter,
write a draft, and revise it. Your finished critique letter should be approximately
two (2) typed pages. Please post your critique letter on the Discussion Forum as a REPLY to the Posting of your partner's draft.
here for EN 105 Paper Assignments