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Assignment 2 Peer Workshop

If you brought a working draft of your introduction with you, gather into groups of three. (Four is acceptable if this is the only option. Otherwise. Keep it to three.) Pass your print-out of your working draft to the person on your left (clockwise) and write your initials at the top of the first page.  
On a separate sheet of paper (preferably loose-leaf paper), write your name and your peer's name at the top of the page; you'll use this to write and submit your recommendations to your peer at the end of the workshop.
If you DIDN'T come today with a completed working draft, wait until all the groups have formed.  You'll be given further instructions at that time.

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Task 1: Read, Review, Edit
approx. 5 minutes

Carefully read your peer's paragraph(s), taking note of its general tone, intended topic, and central argument.

Then, reread it and offer the following editing corrections/suggestions (which you may handwrite directly onto the draft):

  • corrections to MLA document design (pagination, title page info, margins, etc.)
  • misspellings and usage errors
  • grammar and punctuation errors
  • other editing and mechanical issues


Task 2: Subject/Context
approx. 7 minutes

Review your peer's introduction once again and mark on the draft where you believe the Subject/Context stage of the introduction ends. (Use any clear and sensible method to accomplish this.)

Then, on a separate piece of paper, (legibly) write your comments on the effectiveness of this stage of the introduction:

  • What specifically is effective or ineffective about the "hook" that this stage provides?
  • How effectively does it suggest the intended subject and tone of the essay to come?
  • Regardless of how you responded to the two previous questions, offer one detailed and specific recommendation for revision and improvement. (Don't say you can't think of any, or that it's perfect as is.) Note: If your peer has neglected altogether to include this stage of the introduction in his or her draft, then recommend one: offer an idea for a context and explain why it might be apt for your peer's topic. 


Task 3: Topic/Text
approx. 5 minutes

Using the same separate sheet of paper, comment on the effectiveness of the second stage of the introduction, the introduction to the topic, in your peer's draft:

  • Does it clearly connect back to the hook, or the general subject, introduced in the first stage of the introduction? If so, comment on how effectively it does this. If not, explain why not and offer a recommendation for improvement. 
  • Does the topic adequately address the demands of this assignment? Regardless of how you answered this, offer one detailed and specific recommendation for revision and improvement of the "topic" stage of the introduction. (Again, you're not permitted to fob off a "n/a" response, or say, "It's great! I loved it!!!!!" and write nothing further.) If an introduction to the topic is altogether missing from the draft, draft one of your own and defend it.


Task 4: Thesis
approx. 7 minutes

Underline on your peer's draft what you believe to be the thesis of the introduction. Using the same separate sheet of paper on which you wrote recommendations earlier, comment on the effectiveness of the thesis statement:

  • Does it adequately forecast the criteria or points that will be developed in the body of the essay to come? What do you predict some of those points will be?
  • Does it suggest an order in which those points will be taken up in the body of the essay? Explain how you know.
  • Does it offer a complex claim, opinion or reaction to the topic, rather than merely state a fact? Explain in writing.


Task 5: Rinse and Repeat
Once again, pass along your peer's working draft to the person on your left (clockwise) and upon receiving the next working from from your right, write your initials at the top of the first page, underneath the last set of initials.
On a DIFFERENT separate sheet of paper, write your own name and your peer's name at the top of the page. DO NOT write on the back of the last page you used, since you'll have to return this to your peer at the end of the workshop.
Repeat Tasks 1 through 4 (above) with this next peer draft.


Open Discussion
remaining class time

Now that all have read and commented on each of the drafts in the group, open up a more candid discussion about the individual topics and thesis statements. Discuss how they do (or should) answer the demands of this assignment. Comment what you liked about one another's topics, but be honest and helpful about what you found confusing, missing, or underdeveloped about one another's introductory paragraph(s).

Make sure that you, as the writer, take note of your peers' comments, and ask them for specific guidance and input.

Use this part of the workshop to return everyone's working drafts and to submit to them the handwritten recommendations you wrote about their introductions.


At Home

The final draft of this assignment is due at the start of the next class period.


Submit, in a plain two-pocket folder, a revised version of this assignment (in proper MLA document design) with

  1. your pre-writing/outline from the last class period,
  2. the working draft and handwritten peer comments from this workshop, and
  3. a yellow tutoring slip if you take your draft to the Writing Center for assistance.

Missing components, such as peer comments and workshop drafts, will cause the reduction of your final grade on this assignment. Final drafts that aren't adequately revised after today's workshop will be returned to the writer ungraded.1 

1"Revision" means rewriting with refinements, additions, and further developments based on the input and recommendations of your peers.  Editing and correction, alone, does not qualify as "revision."

Last Updated: 03/15/2017


Karl J Sherlock
English / Creative Writing
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