Research Proposal Peer Review

As a writer . . .  

Step 1: Include answers to the following two questions at the top of your draft:  

  • What questions do you have for your reviewer?  
  • List two concerns you have about your argument essay.  

Step 2: When you receive your peer's feedback, read and consider it carefully.  

  • Remember: you are not bound to accept everything your reader suggests; if you believe that the response comes as a result of misunderstanding your intentions, be sure that those intentions are clear. The problem can be either with the reader or the writer! 

As a reviewer . . .  

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" is more useful than "It looks okay to me." Point out ways your classmates can improve their work.  

Step 1: Read your peer’s draft two times.  

  • Read the draft once to get an overview of the paper, and a second time to provide constructive criticism for the author to use when revising the draft.  

Step 2: Answer the following questions:   

  • Does the draft include an introduction that establishes the purpose of your paper, provides, a thoughtful explanation of your project's significance by communicating why the project is important and how it will contribute to the existing field of knowledge.

  • Does the research review section include at least five credible sources on the topic?

  • In the research review section, has the writer explained the sources' relevance to the topic and discussed the significant commonalities and conflicts between your sources?

  • In the methodology section, has the writer discussed how they will proceed with the proposed project and addressed questions that still need to be answered about the topic? Is it clear why those questions are significant?

  • In the methodology section, has the writer discussed potential challenges (e.g., language and/or cultural barriers, potential safety concerns, time constraints, etc.) and how they plan to overcome them?

  • In the conclusion section, has the writer reminded the reader of the potential benefits of the proposed research by discussing who will potentially benefit from the proposed research and what the research will contribute to knowledge and understanding about your topic?

  • What did you find most interesting about this draft?

Step 3: Address your peer's questions and concerns included at the top of the draft.    

Step 4: Write a short paragraph about what the writer does especially well.  

Step 5: Write a short paragraph about what you think the writer should do to improve the draft.  

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.  


This material was developed by the COMPSS team and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. All materials created by the COMPSS team are free to use and can be adopted, remixed, shared at will as long as the materials are attributed.