Tag Archives: peer review


Draft for Peer Review

Here is somebody’s draft they submitted for peer review, which they wanted to be posted anonymously. Please feel free to leave feedback in the comments or to email me feedback so I can post them for you anonymously. I will leave some suggested peer review prompts below the document.

Peer Review Prompts:

1. Try to paraphrase (write in your own words) the writer’s inquiry question and “answer.” The writer can use this feedback to see if what they are communicating lines up with their thinking.

2. What questions do you have as a reader? (This can be things you found vague/confusing or just things you want to know more about) If you aren’t persuaded by something, what more information do you want to know about it?

3. Where is the “center of gravity” of this draft so far? (That is, what seems to be the most important part?)

4. Do the sources used seem to be trustworthy? When the writer refers to a source, is it clear to you how that source/information relates to what the writer is saying?

5. Look back at the rubric/assignment sheet. Do you think there are any specific areas of the rubric the writer could improve on? Does there APA formatting seem to be correct?

6. Are there any places where you think the writer could expand, or any places where they seem to get off topic?

Survey: Peer Review for Final Paper

Originally, we were going to do mandatory peer review for the final paper during the last week of April. Now, that idea just seems unfeasible, given the global situation and the various ways it might be impacting everyone’s lives.

However, because I believe peer review can be a very useful tool (both in terms of getting feedback AND in terms of practicing analyzing others’ writing), I still want to offer that opportunity to anyone who wants it.

Therefore, please fill out the survey below to tell me what you would like to do!

For everyone who says they would like to be in a peer review group, I will split you into groups of 2 or 3 based on your topic and let you know who you are paired with. I will send peer review instructions/prompts next week.

**Please fill it out even if you do not want to participate in peer review.**

Final Paper Peer Review

    "Work for you" means you have the technological capacity AND feel comfortable using this method, even if it is not your first choice. Please check all that apply.

Anonymous Draft 2: This I No Longer Believe (Round 2)

For decades, science and religion have both discredited each other. Normally, people take sides and neither side can seem to give validity to the other side.

When I was younger, I really never put much thought into how the earth was formed. I just knew it was there and that was it. I knew there was science somehow involved and I also knew there was God, Jesus, and the Holy spirit, back when I was Catholic, sort of. My parents are not from the same religion, my dad is Catholic and my mom is/was Christian.

By the time I was in the 8th grade, I had fully established in my head; the Earth is the way it is thanks to bacteria. We exist and the animals exist thanks to evolution. What better explanation could there be?

At the age of 15, I started attending a Christian church. As the months passed by, I was taught that God created everything. Nothing was possible without God, and science existed because of God’s creation. For a while, I didn’t question it. It wasn’t until the Pastor brought the Hebrew roots into the congregation, that I changed my mind once again.

These beliefs are ones that currently, we are still learning in church. The names, stories and meanings as we know it, are different. The bible we read is the Torah, which means law. It is
the first five books YWHW [1] instructed Moshe [2] to write for the future nation of Israel. The nation of Israel is composed of 12 tribes who are the descendants of Yaakov*. The 12 tribes [3] are as follows: Reuven, Shimeon, Levi, Yahudah, Yissajar, Zevulun, Dan, Naftali, Gad, Asher, Yosef (later split into half tribes and named after his sons, Ephraim and
Menashe) and Binyamin. There is a lot to this background that I am still learning about, but through this new belief, is where I felt some inconsities were taking place. Perhaps it is the way the Pastor explained it, that to me, it didn’t add up.

Currently, I am starting to believe that both theories/beliefs have some truth to it and that the Earth or the Universe was neither formed by only God or only science.

The reason why I say this is because both sides have some holes that, in my opinion, can be filled in with one another. It was just random questions, how is it that things happened the way they did? If God was the creator, why did things change overtime? Why were not things just made the way he wanted since the beginning?

My theory starts with the fact that, God made Earth itself, the shape of it, and he added the water, and plants. Land could possibly be due to the movement of tectonic plates overtime.

He also made animals and humans, but they were not what they or we look like today. This is where science comes in again. In the past, animals looked very different, this we can confirm. Huge furry spiders, that over time, have evolved. Spiders, while still deadly, are now much smaller than us humans. Fishes have also evolved, sharks have gotten smaller. Organisms have
evolved in order to adapt to the ever-changing conditions. But change did not come on its own. No, science was also responsible for that. God was the creator, science was the collaborator.

If we go back, before dinosaurs even existed, the majority of then current animals, perhaps mainly lived in water. So how do we have now animals walking the same ground we walk? Or
how did they adapt to water in order to swim and hunt? Perhaps, as each organism was scavenging for food for its survival, food became scarce and they became forced to adapt
to new conditions.

An example can be the Ambulocetus Natans, part of the Cetacean group known for aquatic mammals such as whales and dolphins. Its name means, the “walking swimming whale”. Based on research, scientists believe it wasn’t good at neither living in water or land. It was powerful but not an efficient swimmer. On land, its legs could barely support its own weight, and its snout looked like it made it difficult for it to lift his head up. Regardless, it lived at the bottom of freshwater and was well suited for its environment. If this mammal reminds you of any
other animal, it is perhaps the Crocodile. They both share very similar lifestyles, despite the fact that whales and crocodiles are not related in any way. This is not an example of a direct
evolution from the Ambulocetus to the crocodiles as we know them today, but rather evolution that still went through other adaptations, such as the Indohyus, part of the group known as
Artiodactyls, which consist of hoofed mammals.

Moments like this leaves so much room for so many questions. It leaves so many gaps that any bible can’t really explain. Because it gives a quick summary and more present related version of the formation of our earth.

[1] YWHW is the Hebrew and original name for God
[2] Moshe is the Hebrew and original name for Moises
[3] The 12 Tribes name in Hebrew: the english version is similar and as follows: Reuben,
Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph (sons: Ephraim
and Manasseh), Benjamin

Anonymous Draft 1: This I No Longer Believe (Round 2)

Here I am in New York.

I grew up in an underdeveloped country where there are many taboos, stereotypes, and prejudices. In addition, my family was very conservative and respectful of ethical and moral values. My parents educated me with an altruistic ideal; they always told me that I must respect the rules and laws, obey the authorities, and be an example to others. They considered college education is the only way to grow as a person. That kind of culture motivated me to study law. Indeed, I became a lawyer.

I continued with the conservative way of my family. I saw wrong that a person had a tattoo, that used any drugs, including marijuana, I was against someone for being different from what I knew as “normal.” I made prejudices to people I didn’t even know, simply because of the way they looked. I can tell a vast list of things that I believed, and now I no longer believe in them, or I have modified them or improved them. But now, I’m going to focus on the use of marijuana.

As I mentioned, I graduated from law school. I was working in the criminal area as a Prosecutor for more than five (5) years. Most of my cases were about drug trafficking in the Dominican Republic. Every day, I had hearings to get convictions against those who sold, distributed, or used drugs. According to the law, a person who consumes marijuana can be punished for six (6) months to two (2) years in prison (Art. 75, Law 50-88 of the Dom Rep).

Thousands of people sitting on the bank of the accused looked at me with sad eyes, asking for an opportunity, explaining to me that they were not doing anything wrong. However, I was not listening to them. I believed they were wrong, immoral, dishonest, liars. I only paid attention to my values and morals; therefore, I was never benevolent with them, and they were punished as if they were the worst criminals.

My life changed entirely in the summer of 2016. I emigrated to the United States for family reasons. Here I am in New York. In the big city. In the capital of the world. In a place with a very different culture and a way of seeing different things. I started working in another work environment to meet people of different nationalities, to study, to read the news, to use public transport, to integrate and adapt to a new life.

I could say that my way of seeing things was bombarded day by day for everything I began to experience. Yes, using or trying, but there I was sitting at a friend’s house smoking pot. At that time, I became “the worst criminal too.” What happened to me?

Am I a criminal?

I don’t want to respond to the question because you can imagine the answer. My way of thinking about marijuana changed utterly. Not only was I against marijuana’s users, but also, I persecuted and punished those who used it. Now I see cannabis as something regular and free choice for anyone. Does this mean that I became another person? Or that I no longer believe in the moral values ​​that my family taught me? None of the above. By changing or stop believing in something does not make us another person.

Addressing the issue of the use and legalization of marijuana is very complicated because it covers economic, social, political, and legal aspects. There are several arguments for and against the use and legalization of marijuana. According to the article “The Arguments For And Against Marijuana Legalization In The U.S. [Infographic]” by Niall McCarthy, published on Forbes.com, we can find a survey conducted by the Gallup in 2019, which concludes that: U.S. public support for marijuana legalization increased. The article cites: “Towards the end of last year, a Gallup poll found that U.S. public support for marijuana legalization surged to 66%. Especially noteworthy was a newfound majority support for legalization among Republicans and Americans aged 55 and older.”

I’m not 55 years old, but it is evident that as we are getting older, we are changing thoughts, replacing ideas, substituting habits. This process of evolution makes us see things more objective, impartial, and neutral.  I developed a higher tolerance for diversity, even though I can’t entirely agree with it.

I see life more flexible than before. I no longer believe that marijuana is harmful to society, as I thought back. Marijuana helps people who use it for medical reasons, it would free up law enforcement to focus on other types of crime, it is a matter of freedom and person choice, it will provide a good source of tax revenue for state and local government, and Government regulation of marijuana would make it safer for users.

If I could return the time when I was doing my work against marijuana, I would make more flexible decisions against those people who were not doing anything morally wrong. I know that I cannot return time, so I would like to not only educate people about the positive effects of marijuana but also encourage the idea that our beliefs are susceptible to change, that the human being is in a constant transformation and our point of view can vary without becoming a bad or good person.

In conclusion, I feel more confident in my own beliefs. I grew as a person and made my own decisions. It is fascinating to see how we stopped believing in things that we considered relevant before. I don’t regret anything I’ve done in my life, although it would have been better to grow up with a more open mindset. My beliefs and my way of thinking have evolved due to the enormous diversity of New York and the constant search to feel good with myself.

Peer Review Part 2

Welcome to your survey for Peer Review Paper 1 Part 2

For our second round of peer review, do you want to change the option you chose for the first round? If so, what method of peer review would you prefer?

2/19 (Wednesday): Writing Workshop 1

  1.  Please grab your name plate as you come in
  2. If you have not already done so, fill out the peer review survey here: https://tinyurl.com/vfbtqr3
  3. And upload your draft to the submission link on Blackboard.

Writing Into the Day

  1. What have you accomplished so far in your drafting process?
  2. What questions, difficulties, or “sticky spots” are you having?
  3. Where do you see your draft going in the future?
  4. What aspects of your writing would you like feedback on at this stage? What aspects do you NOT want feedback on at this stage?
  5. If you have participated in peer review in the past, what was helpful, what was unhelpful, and why?

If you are participating in online feedback and would like to anonymously share the answers to 2 and 4 with your reviewers, please email them to me so I can add them to the corresponding post. 


  1. Reminders and Review
  2. Discussing peer review practices
  3. Sorting people who didn’t fill out the survey into feedback groups
  4. Peer review!
  5. Looking Ahead

Reminders and Review

  1. Spring Start– less than half of you attended the first workshop!!!
  2. How to Post refresher
  3. Several past assignments now that you can still do late for partial credit
  4. Post your own optional posts to the blog!

Group Sorting

If you opted for in-person peer review with discussion:

You are in a group together.

If you opted for private feedback from me OR anonymous online feedback:

You will all be commenting on the drafts posted anonymously to the blog.

Leave comments on as many of the drafts as you have time for, but I would rather you spend time leaving thoughtful, detailed feedback on one draft rather than speed through multiple drafts. (Note: In-line comments feature is available!)

If you opted for anonymous in-person peer review:

Please choose whether you would prefer online anonymous feedback or to join the not-anonymous group. Not enough people chose this option for them to remain anonymous while also giving/receiving feedback in real life.

If you still have not chosen an option but do have a draft ready for today:

Choose an option now and either email me your draft so I can put it on the blog anonymously or join up with others who would like in-person discussion.

If you did not choose an option and have no draft ready for today:

Please leave feedback for your classmates online.

Peer Review Guidelines:

I will keep a timer running so we can try to distribute our feedback evenly/make sure everyone gets comments.

Here are some questions for you to think about as you write your responses to your peers.

  1. Summarize the journey the writer is conveying and the major steps along that journey/their significance for the writer. Writers: Do these summaries match what you were trying to express?
  2. Make a comment on some vivid imagery or specific details that you found moving/powerful/effective
  3. Make a comment on some imagery or details that you want to know more about, or you think could be made more specific/evocative
  4. What questions do you have as a reader? (This can be things you found vague/confusing or just things you want to know more about)
  5. Where is the “center of gravity” of this draft so far? (That is, what seems to be the most important part?)
  6. Look back at the rubric/assignment sheet. Do you think there are any specific areas of the rubric the writer could improve on?
  7. If the writer has provided specific questions they would like feedback on, please try to address those.

Looking Ahead:

February 24 (Monday): Playing with Genre, Style, and Audience Day 1

Readings Due
“The Fear Appeal”
“The Humor Appeal”

February 26 (Wednesday): Writing Workshop 2

Assignments Due
Fear and Humor Appeal Examples (comment on post on blog)
“This I No Longer Believe” Full First Draft Due

Sign Up for Peer Review Options

In class yesterday, we discussed how we would like to conduct peer review, and I said I would make a survey for people to sign up for which option they prefer. We decided on 3 options:

  1. Writers bring paper copies of their drafts and exchange them for feedback during the peer review session
  2. Olivia posts anonymized copies of drafts to the course site, labeled (Paper 1, Paper 2, etc.). Writers are assigned random numbers and leave comments on the papers corresponding with that number.
  3. If a writer would like to keep their paper private, they can choose to do so, Olivia will send them feedback, and they will leave feedback for their peers using the online method.

One thing we did not discuss (or I don’t remember what we decided): whether the in-person peer review should also be anonymized. In the past, I have put people in groups of 3 and each person reads/comments on the writing of the other people in their group. So, I put two options on the survey regarding this.

Please select whichever option you prefer by Monday night so I can spend Tuesday getting everything organized.

Welcome to your survey for Peer Review Paper 1

How would you like your paper to be peer reviewed? (If you choose paper copy or online, you will give feedback to others who chose the same. If you choose to keep your paper private, you will give feedback to others online.)