Working in the groups you’ve been assigned, you be responding to each others’ writing, providing helpful feedback for worthwhile improvements.
- Bring a piece of writing (can be new draft or revised, but different than before).
- You must have copies for everyone in your group including yourself (4).
- Please fill out a pre-conference sheet to help you think about what you want to know going into peer session.
- Read your piece aloud while other members read along. No one stops, no one comments aloud (annotating is encouraged).
- “BLESS” – this means audible thank you to the writer for sharing & something you liked about the piece (be specific).
- “ADDRESS” – the writer asks for specific feedback on areas he/she has questions or is unsure about.
- “PRESS” – the readers offer CONSTRUCTIVE suggestions to the writer one at a time – make physical notes ON the drafts at hand.
- Brief discussion takes place among group members concerning the piece – keep taking notes.
- Take a moment or two to be sure to mark/write ON THE PAGE anymore questions, comments and/or suggestions for the writer.
- Return all copies of the paper WITH annotations to the writer.
- Rotate writers, and begin again until all writers have feedback for the piece they brought to peer group.
- (IF someone in the group has a 4+ page paper, that writer reads LAST).
- Note that this is PEER RESPONSE, not peer editing. Don’t just correct mistakes!
- Feel free to flood the writer’s work with questions you have in the margin. This can lead to deeper thinking on the part of the reader.
- Note that, as a writer, you do NOT have to take every suggestion given or answer every question asked.
- Be specific when you can. “Good job” doesn’t tell the writer much.
- Look for how the piece begins, ends, what is left out, and in general RLaW.
- Watch the writer’s moves, but also offer critique when appropriate.
Working in response groups and receiving feedback, whether written or conversational can be difficult sometimes. To accept real criticism (which doesn’t have to be negative) with understanding takes practice. Remember foremost that taking comments personally can cause hurt feelings, and taking no comments personally can make you come across stubborn and inflexible. Accept the comments of others, give them some time if necessary, reread them, and then decide which ones deserve action and which may not be as helpful. Always, it is about thinking and learning and improving. Writing for this course is not a contest (unless you are just competing with yourself). Take a step back when it gets tough. Response groups are what you make them, as a collaborative writing community.