You’ve finished penning your rough draft about death in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and you start to feel a sense of accomplishment. You might even be proud of what you wrote! Who knew, right? But just when you thought it was safe to join your fellow students in class, you audibly gasp when you discover:
IT’S AN ENTIRE PERIOD OF PEER EDITING!
So while your teacher attends to their Match.com free trial offer, you’ll be forced to surrender your paper to a fellow classmate for review. Will he or she actually care about your paper, or will they scribble dreck on your draft and brand it, “constructive feedback”? In either case, you’ll need to both dish and take some peer edit criticism.
Below are some tips, tricks, and coping mechanisms with which to survive this godawful period of red-pennery:
- If a friend edits your paper, they’re not likely to level any harsh criticism or note necessary revisions. In fact, an anonymous peer review is a fantastic, more honest alternative!
- When editing a paper, let your revisions take the form of short, honest comments. No arguing allowed!
- It’s a good idea to develop a standard peer editing strategy. However, before you make specific edits, make sure the paper has:
- A clear thesis statement that makes an informed argument.
- Well-articulated, concrete support for the argument.
- Commentary, evidence of independent thought, and effective transitions between paragraphs.
- If there are holes in their argument, don’t use up all of your editorial chewing gum to plug them up! Make notations of these logical inconsistencies and continue reading.
- Remember that it’s not your job to re-write a terrible paper. Major overhauls are best done by the paper’s author!
- When your classmate returns your paper to you, remember that their comments are not meant to be personal attacks on your psyche. If they wanted to attack your psyche, they’d tell you that your jeans were too tight.
While peer editing is designed to give you a “second pair of eyes” in your writing process, it’s difficult to measure your editor’s skills and biases. If you’re looking for a little something beyond the peer edit, Kibin’s seasoned editors will professionally proofread your paper. The comments our editors leave are designed not only to improve your paper, but improve your writing as well! After all:
Prior proper proofreading prevents pretty poor papers!
Do you have any peer editing horror stories? Are there any helpful strategies you’d like to share with the Kibin community?