Bring two copies of both your review and
the paper you are reviewing to the next class.
As a reviewer, you should write comments to the author critiquing and
making suggestions on how to improve the paper. A reasonable
structure is to make suggestions about (1) the thesis, (2) support of
the thesis, and (3) writing style. In addition, comment on whether
the paper fails to meet the expectations of the assignment. For
example, does the paper discuss values as reflected in the
performance of the chosen activity?
Try to make constructive criticisms. Your goal is to help the author
improve the paper, not to help the author hate the paper. Be sure to
address things which impressed you as well as things that need work.
Appended are some questions which you might think about as you read
the essay. You should not answer each of these
questions. Instead, comment on those parts that are most lacking in
the essay, and try to make specific suggestions to the author which
would (in your view) improve the essay.
- Is it immediately clear to the reader what point the essay is
going to make without needing to read past the first few sentences.
- Is the thesis readily discernible after reading the essay?
- Although you may not agree with the thesis, is the thesis
interesting? I.e., is it either non-obvious or controversial?
- Is the language used in the state the thesis clear,
straightforward, even powerful?
- Does the essay have an introduction that lets the reader know
what to expect from the essay?
- Does the essay have a conclusion that leaves the reader with a
satisfied feeling that the matter has been neatly wrapped up?
- Does the body of the essay (between the introduction and
conclusion) have a discernible organizing principle?
- Does each paragraph and each larger organization unit start with
a clear statement of topic, except where there is good reason to do
- Are there smooth, sensible transitions from each topic to the
- Supporting evidence
- Is each claim made backed up by specific supporting evidence?
- Is the source for each piece of evidence properly
documented, even when that evidence is not a direct quote?
- Does the author comment upon each quotation or other piece of
evidence and work it into the flow of the essay?
- Does the author provide evidence that could on its face be taken
as counter to the thesis, and explain how it fits into the author's
understanding of the matter?
- Does the paper synthesize evidence from varied sources rather
than merely reporting the evidence?
- Is the grammar, spelling, diction and typography all good enough not
to distract the reader?
- Is the writing clear, crisp and direct?
- Is the writing interesting? Does the presentation draw the
reader into the subject?