Peer Review Form For Essays Online

Sample Forms - Peer Review

Students utilizing well-developed feedback forms for peer review can in effect give students a deeper understanding of how their writing affects different readers, reinforce familiarity with revising strategies, and assist students in developing a familiarity with scientific writing expectations.

Several formats exist for peer-review feedback forms. Two common styles of feedback forms include criteria grids and open-ended forms. Both forms are presented in general terms below. You can also see examples of open-ended forms for a science research paper, a science lab report, a science article, and a problem-solving exercise.

Criteria grid

A criteria grid is useful to assist students in recognizing and constructing assertion-plus-evidence arguments. Fuller responses may be obtained by leaving more space in the "Reader's Comments" column and soliciting specifics from the reviewers. The grid can be available online through a website or set up in MS Word or Excel as a table.

Examples of criteria grids can be found at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Writing Center peer-review page.

Open-ended form

A list of open-ended questions can encourage students to provide more detailed feedback. Inform the students that the amount of space you leave for a response reflects the amount of information you are expecting.

Author __________ Reviewer __________
The goals of peer review are 1) to help improve your classmate's paper by pointing out strengths and weaknesses that may not be apparent to the author, and 2) to help improve editing skills.

Read the paper(s) assigned to you twice, 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) Were the basic sections (Introduction, Conclusion, Literature Cited, etc.) adequate? If not, what is missing?
2) Did the writer use subheadings well to clarify the sections of the text? Explain.
3) Was the material ordered in a way that was logical, clear, easy to follow? Explain.

4) Did the writer cite sources adequately and appropriately? Note any incorrect formatting.
5) Were all the citations in the text listed in the Literature Cited section? Note any discrepancies.

6) Were there any grammatical or spelling problems?
7) Was the writer's writing style clear? Were the paragraphs and sentences cohesive?

8) Did the writer adequately summarize and discuss the topic? Explain.
9) Did the writer comprehensively cover appropriate materials available from the standard sources? If no, what's missing?
10) Did the writer make some contribution of thought to the paper, or merely summarize data or publications? Explain.


University of Hawaii at Manoa's Writing Program Peer Review Groups and Criteria Grids.

  • Peer-Led Team Learning
  • PhET Interactive Science Simulations
  • Process of Science
  • Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning
  • Professional Communications Projects
  • Quantitative Writing
  • Role Playing
  • Service-Learning
  • Socratic Questioning
  • Structured Academic Controversy
  • Studio Teaching in the Geosciences
  • Teaching Quantitative Reasoning with the News
  • Teaching Urban Students
  • Teaching with Data
  • Teaching with Data Simulations
  • Teaching with GIS
  • Teaching with Google Earth
  • Teaching with Learning Assistants
  • Teaching with Simulations
  • Teaching with Spreadsheets
  • Teaching with SSAC
  • Teaching with the Case Method
  • Teaching with Visualizations
  • Testing Conjectures
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Using an Earth System Approach
  • Using Issues to Teach Science
  • Using Media to Enhance Teaching and Learning
  • Engaged Pedagogies
  • Teaching with Data (TWD)
  • Pedagogic Service
  • Search the Site
  • Getting Started

    The first step in using peer review is deciding how to integrate relevant writing into the topics of a course. After you have selected or designed a writing assignment on a specific topic, but before you assign it, you'll need to give your students practice in providing useful, constructive feedback. The time you invest in this has a direct payoff in decreasing the amount of time you will spend reviewing student writing.

    Introducing peer review to students

    Getting students on board

    Whichever version of peer review you use, introduce your students to the idea of peer review prior to the first assignment. Spend some time emphasizing the importance of revision in the writing process and remind students that the purpose of peer review is to improve the quality of their writing. You may wish to describe the process of peer review for published journal articles as a reminder that even established scholars in your field benefit from peer review.

    Helping students to give and review constructive feedback

    Most people need instruction and practice in both giving and making use of constructive feedback. You can help your students.

    Teaching students to critique writing

    Electronic (calibrated) peer review

    If you choose to use electronic (calibrated) peer review, the next step is to set up the Calibrated Peer Review program on a department server. (Note: Beginning in 2009, this will require the purchase of a CPR license. See the Calibrated Peer Review website for details.) In this system, students write short essays on a given topic following guided questions to articulate their ideas and promote critical thinking. Students submit the essays online then read and assign a score to three "calibration" essays. After gaining practice reading for content and reviewing, students read and score three anonymous peer essays. At the end, the students go back and read and score their own essay.

    • Calibrated Peer Review - a more detailed introduction to Calibrated Peer Review, with an example and references.

    Low-tech alternative

    Alternatively, you can have students evaluate each other's (and their own) writing via paper forms. These forms generally fall into one of two categories: criteria grids and open-ended forms.


    How much weight these assignments are given varies enormously. Many instructors begin with extra credit. Typically the writing assignments count 10 - 20% of the course grade, but some have worked up to 50% or higher.

    Additional Resources

    Overview: Using Student Peer Review (more info)

    Gehringer, E.F., 2000. Strategies and Mechanisms for Electronic Peer Review

    Peer Editing Guide (more info)

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