Egyirba High

Peer Workshop Guidelines:
Your job as a critic is to provide the writer with feedback on a draft. Since you’ll be giving
response to a piece-in-progress, your ai is to give the writer soe ideas for when s!he goes
hoe again to think about and work on turning this into the ne"t draft. You are all e"pert and
highly e"perienced readers. You know when soething is working to pull you in, convince you,
teach you. You also know when a te"t is issing soething, when there is a leap in logic or
structure, when you can’t follow soething, or aren’t #uite convinced by it. $he trick this
seester will be to learn why these oents occur in a te"t %the effective and the not-so&. So
you’ll have no trouble identifying the, but we’ll work on how to account for or e"plain the
and how to then turn this into useful feedback for the writer. 'e’ll be working on developing
our criti#ue skills throughout the seester. (ut, if you don’t invest careful tie and attention to
the person’s draft, you won’t develop as a reader.
'hen you are responding to soeone’s draft, it is iportant %crucial)& to be as specific as
possible at all ties. Here’s what * ean+
VAGUE: ,* really like your essay. * think it’s great. * had a siilar e"perience so *
know what you ean. * enjoyed this a lot. -ood work. .eep it up./
• How will the writer know why it’s great or how to ake it even better0 $hese are
all drafts, and every piece of writing iproves with revision. $his writer won’t
have any idea as to what is aking this piece effective to this reader. She knows
the piece sees to be working, but not why. 1r, aybe she just will think the
reader was a little la2y and didn’t take the tie to really read the piece carefully
and thoughtfully.
SPECIFIC, CONCRETE: ,Your essay is great. $he way you use specific e"aples all
the tie to e"plain your point is effective 3 like when you’re trying to e"plain how you
felt after the e"perience and you copare your feelings to a washing achine. * had a
siilar e"perience, but hadn’t put it into words really and seeing you do it helps e
understand y own e"perience better. *t’s really good when you talk to us directly,
instead of talking at soe strangers, akes e feel fro the beginning as though * a in
the piece, the eory with you, as though you’re talking to e.
• Here, the reader is providing specific e"aples about what worked for her in the
essay. She doesn’t just coent vaguely and generally on the essay fro a
distance. *nstead, she points to specific oents in the piece and e"plains why
they worked for her. -ives the writer a uch better sense of what’s working and
why.
VAGUE: ,* was pretty confused the whole tie. 'hat was your point0 You jup
around all the tie and * can’t follow the ideas. $his needs a lot of structure and better
organi2ation. 4aybe you should just drop the whole part about your brother because *
didn’t get the connection./
• 'riter doesn’t know !h" the piece was confusing, where it was confusing, or
what to do to reedy the proble. 'riter ight again not even be sure whether
reader gave this a careful review given how vague and general the criti#ue is.&
SPECIFIC, CONCRETE: ,* found your essay to be pretty confusing. * think because *
was never really sure what the central point was. *s your ain focus on how teachers are
part of the proble you describe because they don’t give individual attention to students
and are too concerned with covering all the aterial0 1r is it that schools need to do a
better job supporting teachers so they can do their job0 Soeties, * wasn’t sure if you
were des#ri$in% and de&inin% the proble or if you were calling for a change in order to
address the proble. 5or instance, page 6, when you begin describing that history class
you took. 7lso, * think piece is confusing because soeties * wasn’t sure * understood
soe of the transitions. See y argin coents on pages 8, 6. *n these places, you
lost e. * think if you re-arrange things, focus first on defining the proble and then
ove on to addressing it, we could follow you better./
• Here, the writer has a uch clearer sense of where the essay breaks down for the
reader and why. 9eader is offering specific e"aples and also is providing soe
suggestions for revising so as to reedy the probles.