I used to be one of those students who absolutely detested peer review time in English classes. I just didn’t think they were helpful because the only comments I would ever get back were ones like, “It’s really good” or “great job.” Those types of comments in no way helped me when it came to revision time on my paper.
It wasn’t until about a year ago when I took English Comp II with Dr. Mindrup where I came to love peer reviews. I had never had an English teacher be so strict on how she wanted the review sessions to go. I like the rules she set because they meant people had to actually tell me what parts of my paper needed help or correction. She was also the first English teacher who taught me the trick of reading your paper out loud to catch mistakes you normally would not catch reading silently. I kid you not, this was revolutionary to me! I couldn’t believe I had never thought to try this trick! I now read every single paper I write out loud whether it is in a group or to myself, and always catch mistakes.
I was extremely pleased to come to English 2420 the other day and find that Dr. Christensen had a very similar peer review set up to the one Dr. Mindrup uses. My peer group was extremely helpful in catching mistakes I didn’t see on my own and it was nice to get a different perspective on the way my paper was written. I am sad it took me so long to experience a conscience and helpful peer review session. However I am glad I am able to enjoy them now and get helpful feedback on my work in order to make it better.
This still from The Dead Poet’s Society reminded me of how we should always consider what the author is trying to say in their work and what we are receiving from the work as well.