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1. Follow the ThesisThe thesis is generally found in the first paragraph of a paper, which sets the tone for the rest of the piece. It can also be found, in various forms, throughout the entire paper, especially the conclusion. While you’re peer editing, see if you can figure out what the thesis is.
- Does the paper and its main points support that thesis?
- Is there any information that is included that contradicts the stated thesis?
- Does the writer of the paper stick to the thesis, using all the available information possible to make the thesis clear?
2. Clarity and CompetencyClarity and competency are crucial in a peer edit. It will show the writer if their ideas come through easily and are well thought out. The lack of clarity or competency in the ideas or the execution will be things that the student you are peer editing will need to work on. Ask yourself these following questions:
- Do you know what the paper is about?
- Does it make its points with strong ideas that are articulated well?
- Can you tell who the intended audience of the paper is?
- Is the introduction clear with a thesis?
- Does the conclusion wrap up the paper succinctly?
3. Quality of Content and StyleThe way the content was written showcases a lot about the writer. By peer editing the paper, you can provide valuable insight in how that student is presenting themselves. Start by looking for clues of passive voice or tentative words by the author. Also, check for a heavy reliance on data and a little time spent on explaining more difficult concepts. These are all signs of an uncertain author, so make sure you bring these things up to your classmates; after all, you’d want them to do the same for you.
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