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Articles on Peer Review

Listed below are articles on this topic from the Campus Writing Program library. Short summaries and citations are provided when available.

Abdalla, Adil E. A. "A Country Report Project for an International Economics Class." Journal of Economic Education 24.3 (1993): 231- 236.

Describes a semester-long, multi-part writing project used in an international economics class. At the beginning of the semester, each student in course is assigned a country; the student must research the economy of that country, using all sources available, and write a report about that country. Revision is required after professor's feedback; peer review also included. Students use country reports and information regarding economic theories learned in class to write a term paper at end of semester. The goal is to enable students to use theories to understand real-world phenomena, to deal with inconsistent or incomplete data, and to research an ill-defined topic.

Bruffee, Kenneth A. "Collaborative Learning and the 'Conversation of Mankind'." College English 46.7 (1984): 635-652.

Describes history of collaborative learning. Argues that thought is mental conversation, and that therefore to learn to think well one must learn to converse well. Also, writing is related to thought and conversation--it's mental conversation externalized. So must get students conversing as they write. Collaborative learning does this; it also creates a discourse community and helps people enter that community. Collaborative learning is not only good pedagogy, it's also a model of how knowledge is generated in the real world.

Elbow, Peter. "The Teacherless Writing Class." Writing Without Teachers. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973. 76- 116.

Argues that writing can be improved not by telling writers about theories of good or bad writing, or suggesting to them what changes they should make. Instead, what writers really need in order to improve their writing is understanding what a reader is thinking as s/he reads what the writer has written. Describes how to set up a teacherless writing class, how to do the peer commentary that writers need, how the reader should read and how the writer should listen.

Flynn, Elizabeth A., George A. McCulley, and Ronald K. Gratz. "Effects of Peer Critiquing and Model Analysis on the Quality of Biology Student Laboratory Reports." ERIC ED 234 403.

Describes research on the effects of peer review, model analysis, or traditional teaching on the quality of written lab reports in a freshman biology class. (Model analysis is a critique of a published article.) Results: both peer review and model analysis improved the quality of lab reports, and model analysis was more effective than peer review.

Gilles, Carol, and Shirley Johnson. "Valuing and Evaluating the Learners and Their Language." Ideas and Insights: Language Arts in the Elementary School. Ed. D. J. Watson. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1987. 209- 211.

Describes "literature discussion groups" used by elementary school teachers and students to discuss what they have read. Discusses how to evaluate students' performances, how to conduct the groups, etc.

Hawkins, Thom. "Intimacy and Audience: The Relationship Between Revision and the Social Dimension of Tutoring." College English 42.1 (Sept. 1980): 64-68.

Author uses evidence from journals written by peer tutors to point out some advantages of peer tutoring (it gives students a stronger sense of audience, and the impetus to revise, etc.) Argues that it is the interpersonal interaction, the social aspect of tutoring, that provides these advantages. Notes that tutors find this aspect important, and that a more personal relationship between tutor and tutee promotes trust and thus more and better conversation about the tutee's writing.

Herrington, Anne J. and Deborah Cadman. "Peer Review and Revising in an Anthropology Course: Lessons for Learning." College Composition and Communication 42.2 (May 1991): 184-199.

Herrington and Cadman argue that peer review encourages active and reciprocal decision making by the students by showing how it was used in an anthropology class. They use detailed examples of student writing and excerpts from peer review to prove their claim.

Jacobs, Erica. "Improving the Literature Class as We've Improved the Writing Class." No citation. 56-63.

Describes the success of incorporating into literature classes techniques commonly used in writing classes: small group work to answer specific questions about a piece of literature; peer review of drafts; and writing that relates personal experience to some aspect of the topic considered in the piece of literature.

Matsuhashi, Ann, Alice Gillam, Rance Conley, and Beverly Moss. "A Theoretical Framework for Studying Peer Tutoring as Response" Writing and Response: Theory, Practice, and Research Ed. Chris Anson. Urbana, IL:NCTE, 1989. 293-316.

"Response" usually describes the instructor's comments upon student work, and studies of response generally focus upon its effects. If, however, response is more broadly defined as feedback processes, then it is possible to see different stages in that process. Peer tutors are unique respondents in that they are neither beginners nor experts. Matsuhashi et. al. believe that studying peer tutor response will enable researchers to increase their understanding of response, and present a framework upon which research might be based. Questions dealing with the nature of peer tutoring, the development of peer tutors, and the training of these tutors are framed as a matrix in order for the different relationships to be clarified. The matrix, then, acts as a heuristic for generating focii for research into response, especially response as it occurs in a peer tutoring situation.

Spiegelman, Candace. "Habits of Mind: Historical Configurations of Textual Ownership in Peer Writing Groups." College Composition and Communication 49.2 (1998): 234-255.

Students in peer groups sometimes do not incorporate peer suggestions out of a fear of losing their ownership of their work. A brief history of intellectual ownership from Western cultural perspectives helps to reveal tensions between individual and communal ideas of authorship. American copywrite law embodies these tensions in its notion that ideas are in the public domain, whereas expression is in the private. These tensions, formed by cultural "habits of mind," surface in writing groups as students try both to protect their ideas from theft and to contribute meaningfully to the revision of each other's work. Raising questions about the ways in which a text can be both private and public may help students to grapple more effectively with these tensions as they occur within the peer review process.

Trimbur, John. "Collaborative Learning and Teaching Writing." Perspectives on Research and Scholarship in Composition. Eds. Ben W. McClelland and Timothy R. Donovan. New York: Modern Language Association, 1985. 87-109.

Provides history and theories of collaborative learning/peer review/peer tutoring in teaching writing.

Werne, Stanley. "Taking Rough Drafts Seriously." Teaching Philosophy 16.1 (March 1993): 47-57.

Describes the author's use of rough drafts and peer review in a philosophy course. Argues for the use of writing in philosophy courses, and describes details of how rough drafts are used: how to get students to take them seriously, what to get the peer reviewers to do, what actually happens during a rough draft work session. Summarizes students' reactions to the practice.

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