ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • How to Write

Reader Response Peer Editing Worksheet

Updated on November 8, 2016
VirginiaLynne profile image

After over 20 years of teaching college English, VirginiaLynne loves to share tips, teaching plans, and information about the profession.

Why Have Other People Respond to Your Paper?

Simple answer, you will write a better paper. Publishers and professional writers know this. That why all published works are thoroughly read and re-read by friends, family members, and other writers along with an editor.

You can get the same sort of help. My worksheet makes sure that your editors focus on important things that can help you improve your paper. Do this with some friends and it works even more effectively. Here are 4 reasons this works:

  1. Guided Self-Editing: The first part of the workshop gives you questions to go through in order for you to analyze your own paper. This analysis often gives you a starting point for revision.
  2. Learn By Example: As you read the papers of other people, you will often better understand the assignment and get ideas for revising your own paper.
  3. Learn by Editing: Next, as you answer the peer editing questions for other student’s papers, you will often get ideas which help your own writing.
  4. Feedback From Others: Finally, you will get feedback from other students which will tell how well you communicated your point to your reader and will help you as you work to explain yourself more clearly.


On Your Own: You can do this with a group of friends, or even with your roommate. Use the worksheet to help you edit your own paper and have people edit your paper.

In Class: In my college English class, I find that groups of 4-5 students work best. Before the groups start, I have each writer fill out the "Writer's Evaluation" section of the worksheet on their own paper. Then students exchange papers, read and answer the rest of the questions. When they finish one paper, I have them exchange for another one. It helps to have at least two people read your paper, or even more. That way, you can evaluate their comments. If they both tell you to add more examples, you better do it..


Self-Evaluation of Writing

The following questions help you to take a look at your own paper from a different angle. Answer these questions first before you give your paper to someone else.

  1. Underline your thesis and topic sentences in each paragraph.
  2. Label the summary section. Label the response section. Next to each response paragraph, tell what type of response you have made:
  • Agreeing/disagreeing and telling why.
  • Explaining Like/Don’t like and why.
  • Comparing what is in the article to your own experience.
  • Taking an idea in the paper and expanding on it using your own experience or something else you have read
  • Analyzing rhetorical situation: audience, occasion, purpose and context and whether writing is effective.
  • Analyzing the writer’s style, tone, word choice and examples. Explaining how the author makes you feel the way you do after reading the article.

3. Take a sheet of paper and answer the following questions (which will be passed around with your essay)

1. What I want the reader to understand is…..

2. My essay is strong in….

3. Where my essay is weak is…

4. I’d like suggestions on…..

You might want to take a break before going back to look at your peer editing comments.  It can also be nice to sometimes do your peer editing out of doors on a nice day.
You might want to take a break before going back to look at your peer editing comments. It can also be nice to sometimes do your peer editing out of doors on a nice day. | Source

Peer Editing Worksheet

Try to read at least two papers and write comments on them. You will probably spend the most time on the first paper. The main thing to remember is you want to help them write a better paper.

  1. Put your name at the top of the paper as Reader #1____ or Reader #2 etc.
  2. Read the Writer’s Evaluation Comments.
  3. Read the paper and be an active reader by annotating and making comments as you read. For example, you can:
  • Underline any grammar/spelling errors you see and put a question mark or comment in the margin.
  • ·Mark positive comments like “Good,” “interesting,” “nice analogy” along the margins.
  • ·If you don’t understand something or think the writer needs to give more explanation of a point, write that in the margin. Mark sentences which are weak.
  • ·If you can think of an example the writer could use or a way they could organize or present the material more clearly, tell them!

4. On a separate sheet of paper, write your name, the person whose paper you are editing and then answer the following:

  1. Introduction/Conclusion: Do these tie together? How could the writer improve these?
  2. Summary: Do you understand the summary? Does the summary omit anything you think needs to be added? Do they use author tags correctly?
  3. Thesis: Re-write the main idea of the paper. Does the writer make their thesis and purpose clear? How could they sharpen their focus?
  4. Response/Body: In your own words, write what you think the writer is saying in the response. What audience is the writer addressing? Where could they better convince that audience? Where could they add more or better evidence and details? Do they need to expand their response?
  5. Your Response: Write out your own thoughts about the writer’s response. Explain what you like/dislike, or agree/disagree about their reaction to the article.
  6. Audience: Who is the audience for this paper? How does the author address that audience effectively with tone, style, word choice and examples? Where could they be more effective?
  7. Body: How can the reasoning of the paper be improved? Where can the writer add details or examples? Where do they need to add transitions?
  8. What is done well in this paper?
  9. What needs the most improvement? Where should the writer focus when they re-write?
  10. Answer the Writer's Evaluation questions

Basic Outline of Reading Response Paper

Introduction (2 paragraphs)

1. Introduce the Subject: Get readers attention and introduce subject through a story, statistics, current event, vivid description, personal experience or other introduction that helps the reader understand the subject.

2. Summary of Article: Use a format that tells the reader what you are summarizing and gives the name of the author and title of the work. For example:

  • In “title” by author (first and last name) the reader learns....In your summary give the main point of the work. Be sure to explain the original audience and when it was published. Tell what the author wants the reader to believe, think or do.
  • Finish your summary with your Response Thesis. What is your response to this article?

Body (3 or more paragraphs)

  • 3 or more parts of your response
  • 3 or ore reasons for your response

Conclusion (1 paragraph) choose one or more of the following:

  • Return to finish the story in your introduction.
  • Compare your response to the intended audience.
  • Give a final idea.
  • Tell the audience what to think, do or believe.

Summary vs. Response

What is the main idea?
What do you think of the main idea? Do you agree or disagree or both?
What reasons does the author give for believing the main idea?
Are these reasons valid?
How would you give the ideas of the article in your own words?
How does your experience relate to the article?
What examples does the author give?
Are these examples interesting and persuasive to you? To the original audience?
Who was the original audience?
How are you different than the original audience? Do you react differently because of that difference?
When was the article published?
Have there been events or changes that make us look at the subject differently?
What current events or situations prompted the author to write this article?
Are there current events or situations that make you reflect on the meaning of this subject either in the same way or differently from the author?
Use this table to help you understand when to summarize and when to respond.

Peer Editing Poll

Who does your peer edit?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 5 years ago from United States

      Glad to know I helped donnah. I have lots of other writing materials for English which I've published for people just like you. I know that a lot of times people are assigned to teach English who haven't had much help in getting the class put together. I've been teaching these courses for 20 years using five different textbooks. I try to put together the best I've developed over the years.

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      I am teaching a section of Eng 101 and 102 for the first time this year. It is offered at our HS through the local community college. Your outline above is very helpful, as I need to put together a peer editing worksheet and directions this weekend for my class. I will reading your reader's response hub too. Voted up and shared.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      This is a great hub, reminding me how I can help my children with some of their papers as they get older. Thanks for sharing it, I am likely to come back a few times to this one. Voted up and useful.

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 5 years ago from United States

      Seeker7, you are so right that we really need to not be afraid to get the opinions of other people. Part of getting to be a better writer is letting go of the idea that "this is my best work," or "this piece of writing is part of me and if you criticize it, you are criticizing me." As any writer who works hard at the profession knows, all pieces of writing need work. Sometimes even ones that have already been published!

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      I really enjoyed this hub and the concept of peer editing is an excellent one. If people get over the hurdle of not giving positive criticism in case it offends, then these techniques can be invaluable for everyone involved. They are also very liberating both in releasing creative juices and general outlook.

      Voted up + shared