Peer Editing -
What you need to know
|When You are the Reader
- Always read through a piece twice. First
time reading through you get familiar with the piece. Your
second reading try to understand what is being said and how. Ask
questions of the writer if you don't quite get what they are
- Take the role of the intended reader. What
writers need most is the truth. Writer's want someone who is reading
for content not for errors. The most valuable editing advice
concerns content, organization and style. If your only comments are
about punctuation, mechanics or spelling then you are not
'showing' the writer how to engage a reader. Think like a reader.
- Avoid "fixing" the problem. Do not take on
the writer's work as your own. Your role as peer editor is to bring
problems to the writer's attention. The biggest help you can
offer is to point out what works and doesn't work for you as a
- Be specific, honest and constructive.
Start by telling the writer what you like and then mention what
doesn't work. Try something like; "I wasn't clear about what this
sentence meant. "Wherever you can, say why you found that
something worked or didn't work.
When you are the writer
- Listen with both ears and not your heart.
- Never argue, but answer questions you are
directly asked. Don't defend your work.
- Ask for clarification if you don't
understand what the editor suggests. Use specific words that don't
have underlying meaning.
- It is up to you to ignore the advice or
use it to improve your writing.
questions to help you edit.