Rhetorical Analysis Peer Review Guidelines

As you begin writing your peer review, remember that your peers benefit more from constructive criticism than vague praise. A comment like "I got confused here" or "I saw your point clearly here" are more useful than "It looks okay to me." Point out ways your classmates can improve their work.

As a writer . . .

When you submit your rough draft, include answers to the following two questions at the top of your draft: 

  1. What questions do you have for your reviewer?
  2. What two (or more) concerns do you have about your rhetorical analysis? 

As a reviewer . . .

Read your peer’s rhetorical analysis two times: once to get an overview of the paper, and a second time to provide constructive criticism for the author to use when revising his/her paper. Answer the questions below. 

  1. Does the draft include an introduction that contains a clear thesis statement addressing the rhetorical effectiveness of the text for its intended audience? What is working well, and what could be improved?
  2. Does the draft include a brief summary (no longer than 150 words) of the article being analyzed? What is working well, and what could be improved?  
  3. Does the draft examine the article author’s rhetorical strategies by explaining, developing, and discussing the rhetorical technique? What is working well, and what could be improved?  
  4. Does the draft include and discuss examples and quotations from article? What is working well, and what could be improved?  
  5. Are all examples and quotations properly cited both parenthetically and at the end of the essay? Note any discrepancies and/or incorrect formatting.   
  6. Are all quotations and paraphrases introduced properly with lead-ins (e.g. Johnson writes, “Dogs are better than cats because dogs are cuter.”)  
  7. Is the writer's writing clear and easy to understand? Are the paragraphs and sentences cohesive? Explain your answer.   
  8. Are there any grammatical or spelling problems that distract from the writer’s intended meaning?  
  9. Has the writer written an effective and convincing rhetorical analysis? Explain your answer.   
  10. What additional feedback do you believe the writer would benefit from hearing/reading as he or she revises this essay to submit for a grade?   

Next, address your peer’s questions and concerns included at the top of the draft.   
Finally, write two short paragraphs in response to your peer:

  • In the first short paragraph, write about what the writer does especially well.
  • In the second short paragraph, write about what you think the writer should do to improve his or her annotated bibliography.  

Your suggestions will be the most useful part of peer review for your classmates, so focus more of your time on these paragraphs; they will count for more of your peer review grade than the yes or no responses. 

Hints for peer review:

  • Point out the strengths in the essay.
  • Address the larger issues first.
  • Make specific suggestions for improvement.
  • Be tactful but be candid and direct.
  • Don’t be afraid to disagree with another reviewer.
  • Make and receive comments in a useful way.
  • Remember peer review is not an editing service. 

After you get your rhetorical analysis back from your reviewer, check your draft against the assignment guidelines and make sure your essay meets the requirements of the assignment.   


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