Peer editing has always been a scary thought to me. My high school English teacher loved peer editing. She thought it was a great way to allow each student to see their classmates mistakes and learn from them. I agreed with her completely because there are many benefits to peer editing, but that doesn't mean I liked it. I was always so afraid that I was going to hurt my classmates feelings or that I was going to offend them. On the other hand, whenever I would get my paper back, it would always make me mad that one of my classmates would say something like, "I don't think that sentence makes sense." Now that I look back on it, I'm thankful that my teacher made us peer edit. It helped make each one of us better writers. Recently in my Human Growth and Development class, we had to get a partner and peer edit his/her lesson plan. Our professor told us that if the person you peer edited for didn't make a 100, then it was your fault. That caught me by surprise. It made me search for more mistakes and pay closer attention to detail that mattered. We had to peer edit our classmates lesson plan last week, and now this week I am faced with this blog assignment on peer editing. Funny how things work, right?
After watching the two videos, What is Peer Editing and Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes, and viewing the slideshow, Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial, I realized that they all reiterated the same basic concepts of peer editing. These resources defined peer editing as working with someone your own age to help improve, revise, and edit his/her writing. This means making suggestions, compliments, comments, etc., to help their writing. The three basic steps that we are to remember when peer editing is: be positive, be specific, and make corrections. One thing that we should always be sure to do is to start off with a compliment. There is no need to only harp on the negatives because everyone could use a little encouragement. There is no doubt that you too will probably have some "red marks" on your paper, so make sure you treat your peer how you would want to be treated. Let your classmate know that they did a great job, however, there are a few things they could fix. When it comes to what they need to work on, make sure you are specific. Underline, circle, highlight, or do whatever you have to do in order for them to be able to clearly see what needs fixing. Once you show them what they could improve or revise, make some suggestions to help them. I think we all know how easy it is to get stumped on something, especially after we've been working on it for days. If we complete these three simple, basic steps, then our peer editing will hopefully get the job done.
If we think about it, we are constantly "peer editing" others in our everyday lives. We are always critiquing our friends outfits or commenting on our friends bad habits. If it's used in our daily lives, then surely it can be effective tool in the classroom. Peer editing is fun as long as you make the most of it! A lot of times, when we are writing we tend to get complacent with our work. Whenever we are done, we are done. We thank our lucky stars that the work is over and we turn it in without ever giving it a second look. I think that peer editing is so great because it gives the students a new, fresh perspective on their work. As long as we are open to the feedback we are given, then peer editing isn't so difficult. Don't take things so personally, but instead, accept the constructive criticism and use it to become a better writer.