The purpose of a peer critique is to help your peer receive an unbiased opinion of his or her writing and to help you gain experience and perspective as a writer by using analytic thinking.
Reading another’s writing, not only helps the author to gain perspective as to what their readers may think of their work, but will help them get a better idea of how well they have expressed their thesis and how well the reader will be able to understand the use of rhetoric. What may be most important to the author though, is the confidence a fair critique can bring, which will make the author less nervous to let their readers read their writing, especially if they know they have received helpful insight and constructive criticism.
The Process of a Fair Critique
When being tasked with a peer critique there are many things to consider. First, have an open conversation with your peer, so that you know what the goals of your peer’s work product will be and who the readers are so that you can consider the two during your review.
The characteristics of an effective critique are also very important. The most effective characteristic of an effective critique is to be constructive, the author must understand that you have their best interest in mind and that you will be honest with them and that you are not trying to be negative or put them down.
Second, work product should be critiqued for several items, and should be read over at least three times, each time with a specific critiquing goal. Below is a check list of the items that should be considered when critiquing a peer’s work product, it will make it an easier and more through review.
1. is this an appropriate topic for the assignment/audience
2. fact checked/refereces
5. rhetoric and its effectiveness
7. formatting and consistency
8. what could be improved, further explained to provide better content or understanding for the reader
4. clarity and flow
Honest, Effective Benefits
Your peer can benefit greatly from an honest, effective critique that reviews the aforementioned. This complete critique will help your peer feel more comfortable with their work product knowing that they can trust your opinion and that you have checked all of the fundamentals, will allow them to correct what is needed, consider your suggestions of ways to make their work product better and create a far better composition because of it.
By helping a fellow writer with an honest peer critique, you not only give benefit to them and their future readers, but you also provide a benefit to yourself as well:
1. They can help you by providing an honest and effective peer review with your writing.
2. Analyzing and critiquing another’s writing helps you have a better understanding of the writing processes from a reader’s and editors perspective.
This also gives you the chance to add to your writing strengths, by building and developing a more analytic mind through the exercise of critique you will be better able to think of the characteristics that you were looking for in your peer’s writing and now be aware of them in your own writing. The more critiques that you do the stronger your analytic mind becomes and the more of a subconsciousness effort it becomes to be more inclusive in your writing; and the more rhetoric you analyze, the better you can set up a more persuasive rhetoric in your own mind and that will show in your writing.